‘Once My Relatives See Me on Social Media… It Will be Something Very Bad for My Family’: The Ethics and Risks of Organizational Representations of Sporting Girls From the Global South

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 University of Waikato
  • 2 York University
  • 3 Otterbein University
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This paper explores the ethics of representing girls and young women from the global South in Sport for Development (SfD) organizational campaigns via the case of Skateistan—an international SfD organization with skateboarding and educational programs in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa. Focusing particularly on Skateistan’s representations of skateboarding girls and young women in Afghanistan, we draw upon interviews with staff members as well as digital observations and organizational curriculum materials, to reveal some of the nuanced power relations within such media portrayals. In so doing, we also draw attention to some of the unintended risks of “positive” representations of sporting girls from the global South, and some of the strategies employed by Skateistan to navigate such issues.

Thorpe is with the Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Hayhurst is with the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Norman Bethune College, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Chawansky is with the Department of Health and Sport Sciences, Otterbein University, Ohio.

Address author correspondence to Holly Thorpe at hthorpe@waikato.ac.nz.
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