Women and the Meanings of Physical Recreation

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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The purpose of this research was to explore the meanings of women’s involvement in physical recreation. Although much has been written about girls’ and women’s involvement in competitive athletics, less is known about the everyday physical involvement of women who are committed to fitness activities, recreational sports, and/or outdoor activities. Data from indepth interviews were collected from 29 participants in physical activity. A process of “constant comparison” was used to develop conclusions about the social psychological meanings of physical recreation. Physical recreation was analyzed in relation to three themes: the setting and structures associated with physical activity, the worth of physical activity, and the means for negotiating opportunities for participation. The gendered meanings associated with physical recreation provided further social psychological and sociological understandings of the recreation choices and multilayered reality of women’s lives.

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