the (in)active body as the locus of politics, the sociomaterialist theories that we examine—such as new materialisms, actor-network theory, and material feminism— impel scholars to draw attention to non-human elements in the physical environment. We conclude by outlining an approach to the study of
Dunja Antunovic and Marie Hardin
The emergence of social media has provided a space for discourse and activism about sports that traditional media outlets tend to ignore. Using a feminist theoretical lens, a textual analysis of selected blogs on the Women Talk Sports blog network was conducted to determine how fandom and advocacy for women’s sports were expressed in blog posts. The analysis indicated that bloggers enhance the visibility of women’s sports, but their engagement with social issues varies. Some bloggers may reproduce hegemonic norms around sports and gendered sporting bodies, while others may offer a more critical, decidedly feminist view and challenge dominant ideologies. While the blogosphere, and particularly networks such as Women Talk Sports, can serve as a venue for activism around women’s sports and the representation of athletic bodies, its potential to do so may be unmet without a more critical perspective by participants.
Barbara Barnett and Marie C. Hardin
Since Title IX was enacted in 1972, women’s advocates have considered how the law has affected female participation in sports, and critics have suggested that the law has unfairly denied opportunities to men. Studies have examined how journalists have covered Title IX and its consequences, yet few have looked at how advocacy groups have sought to influence coverage of the law. This textual analysis examines press statements published by the Women’s Sports Foundation from 2004 through 2009 and concludes that the organization used frames of community and transcendence in discussing women’s athletic participation. The foundation characterized community as essential to the support of women’s participation in sports and suggested that participation and achievement in sports were symbolic of women’s accomplishments in the larger society. The foundation also focused on fairness and equality as rationales for equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. Title IX was rarely mentioned in press statements.
Marie Hardin, Dunja Antunovic, Steve Bien-Aimé and Ruobing Li
Sport-talk radio has been recognized, along with other forms of sports media, as a masculine space where women’s value as athletes and fans is diminished. Little is known, however, about the gendered dynamics of sport-talk-radio production. This study used a survey of programming directors from across the United States to explore issues around the employment of women and coverage of women’s sport by local stations. Results suggest that many stations do not employ any women, although more than half do. Still, leadership positions belong primarily to men. Programming directors see little value in women’s sport for their listeners and make decisions that reinforce their vision of an audience that also sees little value in women’s sport. Using a feminist lens, the authors speculate on the impact that women in positions of power could have on programming if their representation moved beyond token status, while acknowledging the realities of the sport-media workplace.
Following Michel Foucault, feminist sport scholars have demonstrated how women’s physical activity can act as a technology of domination that anchors women into a discoursive web of normalizing practices. There has been less emphasis on Foucault’s later work that focuses on the individual’s role of changing the practices of domination. Foucault argues that human beings turn themselves into subjects through what he labels “the technologies of the self.” While his work is not gender specific, some feminists have seen the technologies of the self as a possibility to reconceptualize the self, agency and resistance in feminist theory and politics. In this paper, I aim to examine what Foucault’s technologies of self can offer feminists in sport studies. I begin by reviewing applications of Foucault’s technology of the self to analyses of women’s physical activity. I will next locate the technologies of the self within Foucault’s theory of power, self and ethics to further reflect how valuable this concept can be for feminist sport studies.
M. Ann Hall
The argument presented here is that the sociological discourse of gender and sport, in other words the way the topic is approached, the assumptions surrounding its investigation, and the ways in which new knowledge is generated has been determined without sufficient recognition of its own ideological foundations. Gender, it is argued, is a major social and theoretical category that, along with social class, race, age, ethnicity, and others, must be incorporated into all theoretically based social analyses of sport. The paper reviews the development of the gender and sport discourse from its origins in social psychological research that focused on the supposed conflict between femininity and athleticism, to the more sophisticated yet functionalist notion of “sex roles” and its application to sport, and finally to the emerging feminist paradigm that is informed by a growing body of feminist social theory. The final section argues for a transformation of the gender and sport discourse toward a truly emancipatory one and provides some concrete suggestions as to how to bring this about.
Feminist theorizing in the sociology of sport and physical culture has progressed through ongoing and intense dialogue with an array of critical positions and voices in the social sciences (e.g., Judith Butler, R.W. Connell, Michel Foucault). Yet, somewhat surprisingly, the work of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu—arguably one of modern sociology’s “most important voices of social critique and theoretical innovation” (Krais, 2006, p. 120)—has gone largely unheard among critical sports scholars interested in gender (notable exceptions include Atencio, Beal & Wilson, 2009; Brown, 2006; Kay & Laberge, 2004; Laberge, 1995). In this paper I introduce recent feminist engagements with Bourdieu’s original work to a critical sports sociology readership via a case study of snowboarding culture and female snowboarders. I begin by briefly examining the efficacy of three of Bourdieu’s key concepts—capital, field and habitus—for explaining gender and embodiment in snowboarding culture. I then consider how the habitus-field complex can illustrate the “synchronous nature of constraint and freedom” (McNay, 2000, p. 61) for women in contemporary physical culture.
furthered the notion of the 2012 Olympics as “The Woman’s Olympics” ( Brown, 2012 ). The media’s dissimilar coverage of two similarly exceptional women representing Saudi Arabia demonstrates the productive power of the global north’s neoliberal feminism. Neoliberal feminism disconnects the social justice