Feminist Cultural Studies: Uncertainties and Possibilities

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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This collection of commentaries emerged from ongoing conversations among the contributors about our varied understandings of and desires for the sport studies field. One of our initial concerns was with the absence/presence of feminist thought within sport studies. Despite a rich history of feminist scholarship in sport studies, we have questioned the extent to which feminism is currently being engaged or acknowledged as having shaped the field. Our concerns crystallized during the spirited feminist responses to a fiery roundtable debate on Physical Cultural Studies (PCS) at the annual conference of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) in New Orleans in November 2012. At that session, one audience member after another spoke to what they saw as the unacknowledged appropriation by PCS proponents of longstanding feminist—and feminist cultural studies—approaches to scholarship and writing. These critiques focused not just on the intellectual moves that PCS scholars claim to be making but on how they are made, with several audience members and some panelists expressing their concerns about the territorializing effects of some strains of PCS discourse.

Adams and King are with the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada. Davidson is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Helstein is with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Jamieson is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Kim is with the Department of Sociology, Boston College, Boston, MA. McDonald is with the School of History and Sociology, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA. Rail is with the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Samantha King at kingsj@queensu.ca.