Although Bourdieu’s conceptual system can be of interest to feminists, few have used it because of its androcentrism. This paper considers McCall’s (1992) proposal to correct this androcentric bias by integrating gender distinction with the concept of cultural capital. This integration is supported by some theoretical affinities between Bourdieu’s model and Harding’s (1986) feminist approach, which relate to three elements at work in the production of social life: dichotomous symbolic structure, the organization of social activity, and schemes of subjective dispositions. Some limitations to Bourdieu’s model are considered. However, in the last part of the article, it is argued that the adaptation of Bourdieu’s model is a potentially enriching approach, and an illustration is provided with examples of gendered experiences in sport.
Suzanne Laberge and Yvan Girardin
White and Curtis’ recent papers (Sociology of Sport Journal, 1990, 7, pp. 347-368; International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 1990, 25, pp. 125-141) claiming a difference between Canadian Anglophones and Francophones in achievement values are critiqued. Two particular concerns are at issue. The first bears on the relationship these authors make between competitive sport participation and competition/achievement values. On that score, attention is focused upon some epistemological and methodological inadequacies. It is further argued that a conservative ideological perspective is implied in the inferring of achievement values from competitive sport participation. The second point challenges the idealistic conception conveyed by the authors’ contention that “studies outside the domain of work, on people’s ‘voluntary’ orientations to leisure activities, may more clearly show language group differences in achievement values.” Instead, it is proposed that sport practices are determined by the given social structure in which social agents live and by its specific social history. It is contended that an hermeneutical approach would be a more adequate alternative to the cross-cultural study of values differences.
Joanne Kay and Suzanne Laberge
Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of field, this paper explores the particular stakes and struggles that animate both the relationships among adventure racing (AR) participants and the competition among race organizers in order to highlight the social dynamic and power structure of this new “lifestyle” sport. Our investigation relies on a diversity of qualitative data, namely semi-structured interviews with 37 AR participants. Adventure Racing Association Listserve discussion, and participant observation of Eco-Challenge Argentina 1999. Our analysis demonstrates that what is at stake in the AR field is both the definition of the sport practice’s legitimate form as well as its orientation with respect to two dominant delineating forces: “authenticity” and “spectacularization” of the adventure. These two forces currently constitute the specific forms of capital (sources of prestige) that define the AR field.