Third-Wave Agenda: Women’s Flat-Track Roller Derby

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 University of Northern Iowa
  • | 2 University of Nothern Iowa
  • | 3 University of Connecticut
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This study examines how women’s flat-track roller derby transcends traditional feminist models of sport and reflects contradictory third-wave feminist ideologies. The authors propose a third-wave feminist model of sport that reflects a mix of contradictory third-wave social justice and (post)feminist ideologies, such as individualistic dynamics of gendered and sexual expression, gender maneuvering, inclusiveness, concern for social justice, commercialization, spectacle, and stealth feminism. Using a qualitative content analysis of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association league web sites, the authors apply the model to investigate how and to what extent the new derby reflects their model. This analysis yields four interrelated themes: (1) stealth feminism through alternative sport, (2) social justice and inclusiveness, (3) rebelling and reflecting identity performances, and (4) violent action chicks. The study concludes by exploring implications of the third-wave model of sport and women’s flat-track roller derby for the transformation of sport and the empowerment of women.

Ruth A. Chananie-Hill Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology University of Northern Iowa Mailcode 0513 Cedar Falls, IA 50614 E–mail: Phone: (319) 273–7242 Fax: (319) 273–7104

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