Scholars have examined the ways in which gender is reproduced and resisted in various physical activities and their designated spaces such as aerobics (Markula, 2003), weight training (Dworkin, 2001), and fitness training (Ginsberg, 2000). CrossFit, a relatively new entrant on the fitness scene, has seen an increase in popularity and popular media coverage in the past few years. One of the core tenets of CrossFit is the belief that it is accessible to everyone through scaling. Using a critical feminist geographical approach, the purpose of this research was to examine the ways in which gender was reproduced and resisted in one CrossFit box. This ethnographic study incorporated participant observation, semistructured, in-depth interviews, and online archival work. The themes that emerged included sense of community, pushing through physical limits, coed workouts, beat by a girl, and spatial influence. The results indicate that even though there are ways in which gender norms are reinforced in this space there were also multiple ways in which ideal femininity and hegemonic masculinity were resisted.
Bobbi A. Knapp
People commonly think of only men playing football. Football, however, has also been played by women for many years. Using a feminist interactionist framework, this study examines why women begin to play the game. The research questions that guided this study were: (1) what factors influence women’s decisions to play football? and (2) how do women begin to develop their identities as football players? Data were collected using participant observation over a two-year period and 10 semi-structured interviews. Some of the reasons participants stated for starting to play football were for their love of the sport, a desire to be a part of history, or the physicality of the sport. The women’s abilities and personal characteristics, significant others, and veteran players were crucial in the development of their identities as players. The information obtained could be used to bring more women into the sport.
Rachel I. Roth and Bobbi A. Knapp
Female athletes often negotiate their meanings of femininity and athleticism due to restrictive cultural norms, with muscularity at the center of this negotiation. Using a critical feminist interactionist perspective, this study seeks to understand how female collegiate athletes negotiate their meanings of muscularity and femininity within the strength and conditioning environment. Negotiation strategies emerged from the data, including the gendered body and the weight room environment. The findings suggest that while the strength and conditioning coach is responsible for training athletes in power and speed, they must do so within the cultural context that often attempts to limit women’s physicality.