Colombian girls are not encouraged from playing sport due to gendered roles that idealize girls as “delicate” and reserve sport as an activity for boys. Since the early and mid-2000s girls living in two marginalized communities in Colombia have had the unique opportunity to participate in a sport for development and peace organization. Drawing on six months of ethnographic research, this paper explores how these young women are negotiating gender through their complex and limited participation in the organization. We argue these young women display an ambivalent position towards femininity and practice implicit feminism, which challenges gender norms. However, despite their feelings of agency and a creation of a “new” normal within their social bubble, evidence reveals traditional social structures continue to maintain the gender status quo.
Madeleine Pape and Fiona McLachlan
A growing body of research suggests that economic crises tend to exacerbate existing gender inequalities, particularly in the realms of paid work and political representation. Translating this to the case of sport, how and why might the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic be felt unevenly by professional female athletes and women leaders? In this essay, the authors reflect on the classic feminist critique of the gendered construction of dependence and consider how its application in the context of sport might aid scholars in making sense of (a) the persistence of gendered precarity and inequality in sport, (b) the prospect of their exacerbation under conditions of a pandemic, and (c) how the current crisis might enable sport to move toward a model of interdependence in which its vastly unequal structures are changed for the better.
Annelies Knoppers, Fiona McLachlan, Ramón Spaaij, and Froukje Smits
A great deal of research focusing on organizational diversity has explored dynamics that exclude women and minorities from positions of leadership in sport organizations. The relatively little change in diversity in these positions suggests a need to employ ways of engaging in diversity research that do not center on identity categories and primarily focus on practices. Drawing on notions of subtexts and on queer theory, this critical narrative review aims to make visible and to question organizational practices and processes that may contribute to the diversity “problem” within sport organizations. A subtextual analysis of 32 articles published in leading sport management journals reveals how dynamics of organizational culture, such as an uncritical use of the concept of diversity, the invisibility of practices sustaining gender binaries and heteronormativity, and the intersection of heteronormativity and White normativity, contribute to sustaining the status quo in sport organizations. The authors build on these findings to challenge scholars to further explore and address these practices and processes in sport organizations and in their own research by employing queered intersectional approaches.