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  • Author: Emily A. Roper x
  • Social Studies in Sport and Physical Activity x
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Emily A. Roper

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Emily A. Roper

The purpose of this article is to examine the roles that women play in the Diamond Dolls organization and the meaning and significance of those (gendered) roles in the university and athletic setting. Specifically, I am concerned with the ways in which institutions construct and maintain hegemonic femininity (Choi, 2000; Krane, 2001). Employing a feminist approach, I critically explored the use of sexist language in the naming of a student organization, the roles and responsibilities of the Diamond Dolls, and the meaning of these roles within the context of intercollegiate sport. Lastly, the role that gender norms play in women’s participation in such organizations is also addressed.

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Emily A. Roper

Fear of violent crime and concern for personal safety are well documented fears among women (Bialeschki & Hicks, 1998; Wesley & Gaarder, 2004). Feminist theorists argue that concern for personal safety among women is one of the most significant ways in which women’s lives and their use of space is controlled and restricted (Bialeschki, 1999; Cops & Pleysier, 2011). Employing a feminist standpoint framework (Hill Collins, 2000), the purpose of this study was to qualitatively examine recreational female runners’ concerns for safety while running outdoors in an urban park setting and the strategies employed to negotiate or manage their concerns. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 female recreational runners. Interview data were analyzed following the procedures outlined by Corbin and Strauss (2007) for open and axial coding. The following themes emerged from the interview data: (a) fear of being attacked, (b) environmental and social cues, (c) normalization of street harassment, (d) negotiation strategies, and (e) recommendations for enhancing safety. The findings provide important information pertaining to women’s access to safe outdoor space in which to exercise. Perceptions of safety, fear of being attacked and experiences of harassment have the power to negatively influence women’s engagement and enjoyment in outdoor PA/exercise.

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Eve Ensler and Emily A. Roper

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Emily A. Roper and Katherine M. Polasek

While researchers have explored the experiences of gay and lesbian sport participants competing and participating in alternative sport structures, no research has examined gay men, lesbians, bisexual (GLB) and heterosexual individuals’ experiences sharing an alternative space. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore the experiences and perceptions of being a member of, and participating in a “predominately gay” fitness facility Interviews with 13 members and one member of management suggested that while the predominately gay fitness facility was a site in which working out was a primary focus for all of the participants, the space was used as a way to connect with the gay community (among the GLB participants) and become invisible for the women (heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual). The results also suggested that the heterosexual participants, while “comfortable” working out in a predominately gay fitness setting, described a temporary occupation of the space.