Holly Thorpe and Megan Chawansky
This study seeks to better understand broad management issues associated with the employment of female workers in one sport for development (SfD) project. Through interviews with the executive director and five female staff members of Skateistan—the skateboarding SfD project operating in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa—this study offers insights on female transmigrant workers who relocated to work for the project in Afghanistan, focusing particularly on how formal and informal management strategies are experienced by international female staff and volunteers. Extending the work of Black, Mendenhall, and Oddou with a poststructural feminist approach, we identify six key themes related to the experiences of female transmigrant workers moving into and during SfD assignments: (a) initial motivations, (b) organizational selection mechanisms, (c) management of risk, (d) work–life balance, (e) managing the self, and (f) negotiating postcolonial critiques of development work. In so doing, this paper recognizes women’s lived experiences as a valid and valuable form of knowledge that could be used to inform management approaches adopted by SfD organizations.
Megan Chawansky and Jessica Margaret Francombe
This paper explores issues of sport, sponsorship, and consumption by critically interrogating the mass-mediated “coming out” narratives of professional golfer, Rosie Jones, and professional basketball player, Sheryl Swoopes. Both athletes came out publicly as gay in light of endorsements received by Olivia Cruises and Resorts—a company that serves lesbian travelers—thus marking a significant shift in the relationship between lesbian subjectivity, sport, and sponsorship. A concern with a neoliberal-infused GLBT politics underscores our analysis, and a close reading of these narratives raises complex questions about the corporatization of coming out and the existence of lesbian celebrity in sport.
Holly Thorpe, Lyndsay Hayhurst, and Megan Chawansky
This paper explores the ethics of representing girls and young women from the global South in Sport for Development (SfD) organizational campaigns via the case of Skateistan—an international SfD organization with skateboarding and educational programs in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa. Focusing particularly on Skateistan’s representations of skateboarding girls and young women in Afghanistan, we draw upon interviews with staff members as well as digital observations and organizational curriculum materials, to reveal some of the nuanced power relations within such media portrayals. In so doing, we also draw attention to some of the unintended risks of “positive” representations of sporting girls from the global South, and some of the strategies employed by Skateistan to navigate such issues.