The Journey through Feminism: Theory, Research, and Dilemmas from the Field

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 California State University, Los Angeles
  • | 2 Michigan State University
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This paper explores how feminism can be used in sport psychology research and the particular dilemmas that can present themselves when a feminist perspective is used within the framework of sport psychology. Both authors describe their personal entrées into various schools of feminism, the ways they incorporate feminist theory into their work, and the struggles they have encountered in using feminist approaches in a field that is not always open to feminist epistemology. This paper includes a description of several types of feminist thought. Both authors use feminist theory in research that concerns women at either end of the life span, specifically girls and older women, and the ways that members of these groups think about and relate to their bodies. While feminism has been an important, useful, and enlightening perspective and tool for both authors, it has also proven problematic within the context of sport psychology research. The dilemmas encountered are described as epistemological and methodological and discussed in the context of personal experiences from both authors.

Tamar Semerjian is with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at California State University, Los Angeles, CA 90032. E-mail: <> Jennifer Waldron is with the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Ml 48824.

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