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Anna Kavoura, Alex Channon, and Marja Kokkonen

This study focuses on transgender experiences in martial arts. Interviews with three Finnish and two British transgender martial artists were thematically analyzed, and findings were interpreted through the lens of queer theory. Two themes were identified related to the ways that transgender martial artists experience their sporting contexts, namely martial arts as an empowering and inclusive context and the challenges related to being transgender in martial arts. Two themes were also identified when it comes to participants’ strategies for coping with cis-/heteronormativity in martial arts. Whenever possible, participants employed social change strategies, whereas other times, they drew on self-care strategies. Following this, we suggest a need for context-specific, protective policies; nonbinary means of organizing sport; and gender diversity education for instructors to better cater for the specific needs of transgender people in sport.

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Iain Lindsey and Gareth Wiltshire

Frequent calls for sport for development (SFD) to be reoriented toward transformative social change reflect the extent that policies and programs have instead focused on individualized forms of personal development. However, SFD research has yet to substantially address fundamental ontological assumptions and underlying conceptualizations of transformative social change. To addresses this gap, this article considers how Margaret Archer’s Morphogenetic Approach can help explain how transformative social change might occur through SFD activities. Three conceptual contributions are brought into focus: (a) assuming a realist social ontology; (b) making distinctions between structure, culture, and agency; and (c) identifying social change as happening across three temporal phases. The authors conclude by identifying potential benefits and implications of applying the Morphogenetic Approach to consider the potential for SFD to contribute to social change.

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Mark Falcous and Lauren Turner

This paper explores the narrativization of sports icons within the context of nationalist discourse. The authors explore New Zealand media coverage surrounding the death of Colin Meads in August 2017. Meads, a former all Black rugby captain, coach and administrator, media pundit, and corporate spokesman, was a high-profile public icon. His death was met with saturation national media coverage. The authors’ cultural studies informed analysis of Meads’ narrativization is twofold. First, the authors contextualize the cultural scripts surrounding him prior to his death. Second, they critically read media narrativization following his death within the context of narratives of nation. They explore this mediation in the context of intersecting themes of rurality, Whiteness, masculinity, and rugby. Print media coverage widely articulated Meads to the nation as the archetypical “kiwi,” liturgized his contribution to rugby during and after his playing career, and his “no-nonsense” character. In doing so, it reinforced a selective national narrative, premised on a combination of both remembering and forgetting. This narrative reaffirms White-settler, male heroism, and rugby as central to New Zealand nationhood and assuages contemporary national anxieties and the cultural hierarchies they entangle.

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Julie E. Brice

Over the past decade, activewear has become a booming international business and cultural phenomenon. It has simultaneously been critiqued for its pervasive neoliberal, postfeminist, and healthism rhetoric and the ways it continues to (re)produce hegemonic femininity. In this paper, the author drew upon new materialist theory, specifically Karen Barad’s concept of spacetimemattering, to contribute to this body of literature, providing an alternative perspective on the production of femininity and feminist politics within activewear. Using a Baradian-inspired approach, this paper brought various material-discourses and events from multiple time periods into dialogue with the activewear phenomenon to (re)think the production of femininity. Specifically, the analysis explored how activewear entanglements across various spatiotemporalities challenge appearance-based femininity and increase the visibility (and acceptance) of the moving female body. Through this exploration, the author provided a way to (re)imagine feminist politics that are embedded in women’s everyday fitness practices.

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Allison Jeffrey, Holly Thorpe, and Nida Ahmad

This article engages Rosi Braidotti’s writing on COVID-19 and affirmative ethics to expand understandings of the purpose of leisure and physical activity in women’s lives during the pandemic. Utilizing a feminist methodology informed by an ethics of affirmation, care, and creativity, the authors share insights from in-depth interviews with five dedicated Yoga practitioners living in Aotearoa New Zealand. Herein, they reveal how Yoga’s physical, mental, and ethical practices supported women as they navigated numerous challenges during the pandemic. The authors discuss the women’s complex experiences of affect, including shared exhaustion and compassion. Finally, they illustrate how experiences of discomfort encouraged some women to rethink collective responsibility and experiment with communal solutions to better support others in the face of uncertain futures.

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Katie Sullivan Barak, Chelsea A. Kaunert, Vikki Krane, and Sally R. Ross

Previous research suggests that sport media provide one avenue for boys and girls to learn what and who is valued in sport. We explored girl and boy athletes’ perceptions of photographs of female college athletes, which provided insight into young athletes gendered perceptions of athletes and sport. Sixty-nine sportskids participated in focus group interviews where they discussed what they liked and disliked about a series of photographs of college female athletes. Framed by feminist cultural studies, the authors situated their analysis within the current historical moment bounded by young athletes’ post-Title IX and postfeminist sensibilities. The authors present their appraisals of a few exemplar images that characterize themes that appeared across the whole photo collection. Emergent themes included gendered sport terrain, which situates their comments within the gendered milieu of their sport experiences. Data also revealed themes associated with the select images: female athleticism, inspiration versus objectification, transgressing heteronormative femininity, and sporty cute. Overall, both girls and boys struggled with images that were interpreted as too feminine or too muscular/masculine. These data also point to how little has changed in the past 50 years regarding how female athletes are culturally constructed. While the borders of acceptability may have shifted, female athletes continue tenuous navigation of socially acceptable boundaries of athleticism, femininity, and muscularity while masculine privilege in sport continues and the presence of females in sport is framed by a heterosexual male gaze.

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Patrick Tutka and Chad Seifried

The present study examines the early wooden facilities and grounds of American college football within National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and Ivy League schools from 1869 through 1903. Within, we identify what set of events and opportunities led to the development of the earliest football playing spaces. Furthermore, we recognize and explain what patterns of construction and renovation influenced the creation of permanent stadia. Critical environmental conditions that impacted the spread of knowledge about football and its playing grounds are recognized in addition to specific rules, which influenced the evolution of fields and facilities. Finally, we recognize the importance of facility enclosure and interests in producing revenues, and feature discussion on the movement of games from off- to on-campus while offering a collective picture of what these places looked like as potential synedochial social anchors for their institutions.