Vicki D. Schull and Lisa A. Kihl
The purpose of this study is to examine the gendered nature of sport leadership by analyzing female college athletes’ perceptions of leadership associated with sport coaching. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 female college athletes participating in NCAA Division I team sports to understand their perceptions of leadership associated with coaching and to examine the gendered nature of their leadership constructions. Findings indicated two gendered leadership attributes were associated with coaching (i.e., human capital and empathy) in the context of women’s college sport. While both men and women were cited as ideal leaders based on their human capital and ability to express empathy, these leadership attributes were evaluated and applied differently to male and female coaches. The gendered nature of human capital and empathy contributed to the further privileging of men and certain forms of dominant masculinities over women and forms of femininities within notions of sport leadership and coaching. This study contributes to the gender and sport literature and offers practical implications focused on individual and interpersonal strategies.
The new material turn in social sciences and humanities has drawn attention to how the material interacts with the social in the world where both human and non-human actors produce power relations. To include the material objects and their environments within the social analysis, new materialists argue for a new onto-epistemology that departs from the humanist social constructionism. To explore what this might mean for sport sociologists, I discuss three themes characterizing the new materialism: the focus on processes of materiality, post-humanist tools needed to engage with the material processes, and post-qualitative research methodologies and ways of representation that include the material world. I advocate studying the body in motion as a unique focus for socio-cultural scholars of physical activity who can connect the material with the social into research that matters in the contemporary world.