Dancing With Derrida: Deconstructing Sportswomen’s Performances on Dancing with the Stars and Mira Quien Baila

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 University of Vic-University of Central Catalonia
  • 2 Bowling Green State University
  • 3 University of Auckland
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Feminists have long wrestled with the binary of gender difference in sport, employing diverse theoretical and empirical approaches to understand how difference is constructed, maintained and challenged. In this article, we engage with Jacques Derrida’s work on deconstruction and différance. Specifically, we engage with deconstruction’s double gesture in order to firstly identify, and later resist and disorganize the hierarchical oppositions of gender difference—masculine versus feminine. In particular, we are interested in the play of gender difference and différance as they emerge in a context that juxtaposes sportswomen’s engagement in divergent sites of physical activity—dancing and sport. We aim to demonstrate how deconstructing sportswomen’s performances on televised dance competitions contributes useful ideas to think about the feminine beyond an oppositional gender binary frame. To illustrate our theoretical discussion, we analyze female athletes’ performances on popular, transnational, televised, celebrity dancing competitions in Spain, the U.S. and New Zealand.

Martin is with the Physical Activity Sciences Dept., University of Vic-University of Central Catalonia, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Spencer is with the Sport Management Program, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. Bruce is with the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Address author correspondence to Montserrat Martin at m.martin@uvic.cat.
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