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This paper offers a critical feminist review of how the notion of physicality has been used within the sport sociology literature. Despite the lack of conceptual rigor associated with the term, and the tendency for physicality to be associated with men’s sporting experiences, a discussion ensues regarding not only its viability as a concept when examining the physically active experiences of women, but also its importance vis-à-vis sport feminist research. A reconceptualization of physicality is called for, and it is argued that our conceptual usage of it must be situationally specific. Drawing on research in progress, the author sets out one particular way in which a concept of physicality, grounded in the physically active, bodily experiences of women, can be developed.
Lisa McDermott is with the School of Physical & Health Education at Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6.