Curb Your Enthusiasm: A Case of Young Malaysian Women’s Emotional Embodiment

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • | 2 Aarhus University, Denmark
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The purpose of this research was to explore, from a cultural psychological perspective, how young Islamic women experience themselves being physically active in the Islamic State of Malaysia. Open-ended, in-depth interviews were conducted with five Muslim women (aged 20-21) who actively participate in sports and physical activities of their choice. Drawing on a feminist poststructuralist perspective, young women’s narratives were examined as cultural manifestations of gender control in the context of sport and exercise through discourse analysis. One narrative explicitly revealed the workings of power in emotion regulation and restriction while other narratives highlighted power mechanisms operating through other forms of emotional constitution of the young female body. This paper is an attempt to (re)construct the compelling case of a culturally constituted expression of joy and enjoyment in the exercise setting. The key findings are discussed in relation to panoptical power exercised through the socio-cultural medium of the Islamic state.

Anaurene Roy Department of Sport Sciences Faculty of Sport and Health Science FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland E-mail: anaurene@gmail.com Phone: +358142602000 Fax: +358142602001

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