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Sony SooHoo, Justine J. Reel and Patricia F. Pearce

Adolescent cheerleaders are seen as American icons, but psychosocial factors can predispose them to body image disturbances and disordered eating. Understanding body image development is critical to promoting healthy body image, as well as preventing disordered eating and its related health risks. The purpose of this study was to explore the development of body image among adolescent female cheerleaders. A grounded theory approach was used to conduct 26 interviews with 14 adolescent female cheerleaders (M = 14.07, SD = 2.40) who cheered at All-star gyms, junior high, or high schools to explore their body image experiences. The categories included body awareness (i.e., physical changes, body comparison), cheerleading environment (i.e., cheerleading image, position body type, uniform), and social factors (i.e., parental influences, comments from others). These categories influenced body image through the central category, developing attitude, demonstrating the complexity of body image construction among adolescent females.

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Katherine M. Jamieson

As though it were unfolding today, the Lopez story provides a fertile field for analyzing the varied consequences of interlocking inequalities of race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality. Lopez is constructed through the print media as a symbol of assimilation, as well as a body coopted in the project of Latino-Latina pride and social justice. The selected “Lopez texts,” which include Sports Illustrated, Nuestro, and Hispanic magazines, offer powerful and complex examples of the authority of the media to construct and reconstruct the events surrounding Lopez’s career. The purpose of the paper is to apply feminist insights regarding racialized, classed, and sexualized forms of gender to examine the complexity and salience of Nancy Lopez’s presence on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour.

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Chin-Ju Huang and Ian Brittain

The purpose of this study was to explore the multiplicity and complexity of identity construction for elite disabled athletes within the arena of disability sport. This involved in-depth semistructured interviews that explored the experiences of 21 British and Taiwanese elite disabled athletes from the sports of powerlifting and track and field. The results indicate that both societal perceptions based in the medical model of disability and the participants’ impaired bodies play a key role in their identity formation and sense of self-worth. The study also highlights the role that success in international disability sport can have by offering potential for positive subjectivity, a changed self-understanding, and an increased sense of personal empowerment. Finally, the notion of multiple identities also appears to be supported by the research participants’ narratives.

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Sean Brayton

Alternative sports have been situated within backlash politics whereby subcultural or marginal representations illustrate a victimized white male. While this may be true of some sports, skateboard media fosters a sustained critique of “whiteness.” To understand the representation of white resistance in skateboarding, we must locate the sport within the larger historical context of white male rebellion found in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957) and Norman Mailer’s White Negro (1957). Similar to these countercultural narratives, skateboard media represents a tension between a death of whiteness (symbolized by co-opting “blackness”) and its inevitable rebirth (through prolific marketing of white skaters). Unlike the Beats, however, the dialectics of white resistance appear in skateboard media through advertisements that are often underscored by parody, which produces its own set of complexities.

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Brett Smith

Working at the intersection of sociology and psychology, the purpose of this paper was to examine people’s experiences during rehabilitation of being and having an impaired body as a result of suffering a spinal cord injury (SCI) while playing sport. Interview data with men (n = 20) and observational data were collected. All data were analyzed using narrative analyses. To communicate findings in a way that can incorporate the complexity of results and reach wide audiences, the genre of ethnographic creative nonfiction was used. The ethnographic creative nonfiction extends research into issues related to disability, rehabilitation and sporting injury by 1) producing original empirical knowledge, 2) generating a theoretical account of human thought, affect and action as emerging not inside the individual but within social relations and the narratives that circulate between actors, and 3) capturing the impact of this research.

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Nikki Wedgwood

This study of a schoolgirl Australian Rules football team uses life-history research to provide unusual insights into the gendered embodiment of female footballers. Focusing on the familial relations of players, the article looks at sport in the wider context of gender, showing complexities often overlooked. While documenting different patterns of female embodiment, the study examines whether the provision of full-contact sports is “schooling the bodies” of these young women in alternative forms of embodiment to those described by Young (1998) in “Throwing Like a Girl.” Specifically, this article addresses why the girls play football, whether they are consciously resisting male domination, whether playing football teaches them a different gendered embodiment, and how the girls deal with gender contradictions that arise from playing football.

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Brad Millington and Brian Wilson

In this paper we argue that sport media research would be enhanced by: (a) engagement with the audience research tradition, including “third generation” audience studies that emphasize relationships between viewer interpretations of media and everyday social practices; and (b) the adoption of multimethod research approaches that are sensitive to contradictions and complexities that exist in media consumption. To support this argument, we reflect on the benefits of a multimethod research design used in a recent audience study conducted by the authors on youth interpretations of media and performances of masculinity in physical education (Millington & Wilson, in press). These benefits include: enriching researcher understandings of social/cultural contexts; illuminating social hierarchies; and revealing lived contradictions. We conclude with reflections on epistemological issues and suggestions for future audience projects.

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Jason Laurendeau and Dan Konecny

In this essay, we build upon Messner and Musto’s recent call for sociologists of sport to take “kids” more seriously; we highlight that in addition to taking kids and kids’ sport more seriously, sport scholars might go further toward considering childhood not simply as a stage of life, but as a set of ideas that shape and are shaped by sporting and recreational practices and discourses. To illustrate the value of this approach, we explore a number of complexities and contradictions of contemporary risk discourses, and the ways in which these are connected to the (re)production of young people as vulnerable subjects.

Dans cet essai, nous nous appuyons sur Messner et Musto qui ont récemment encouragé les sociologues du sport à prendre les enfants plus au sérieux; nous soulignons qu’en plus de prendre les enfants et les activités sportives des enfants au sérieux, les chercheurs en sport peuvent aller plus loin et considérer l’enfance non seulement comme une étape de la vie, mais aussi comme un ensemble d’idées qui forment les pratiques et discours sportifs et récréatifs et sont formées par ceux-ci. Pour illustrer le bien-fondé de cette approche, nous explorons un certain nombre de complexités et contradictions qui existent dans les discours actuels sur le risque, et les façons dont ils sont connectés à la (re)production des jeunes comme sujets vulnérables.

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Kass Gibson

In this article I examine the practice of hunting in New Zealand with particular reference to the ways in which hunters make sense of hunting, the embodied experience of hunting, and the moral status of animals. Drawing on ethnographic and interview data I reflect on how the practice and understanding of hunting is guided by a form of relational ethics. As such, the social and historical development of hunting in New Zealand and meaningful connections made with the environment and animals developed through the practice of hunting work to guide hunter’s ethical perspectives rather than any universalized philosophical principles or rules. I argue that by hunting, hunters recognize and consciously engage with multiple standpoints and interests in the backcountry environment in a manner that presents particular challenges to critical studies of human-animal interactions that are frequently unable to look past hunting as killing. As such, this article works to explicate the “experiential and cultural complexities” (Marvin, 2011 p.123) of hunting with particular emphasis on the development of an ethical perspective that guides hunters in New Zealand without seeking to judge, or defend, hunting and hunters.

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George H. Sage

A field study of high school teacher/coaches was undertaken, guided by the following general questions: What is it like being a high school teacher/coach? What are the main occupational contingencies for high school teacher/coaches? How do teacher/coaches think about themselves and their situations? The larger field study that provided the data base for this paper was conducted over a 5-month period in 1985 during which I observed teacher/coaches in six high schools. The data were drawn from naturally occurring observations and conversations with teacher/coaches, noncoaching teachers, and school administrators. Formal interviews were also conducted with 50 teacher/coaches. Data described in this paper are qualitative and focus on teacher/coaches’ feelings and attitudes about their profession and the meanings about the multiple role demands they are confronted with. The observations and interviews demonstrate quite dramatically the complexity and pervasiveness of role overload and interrole conflict in this occupation and the role strain that results. Coping and resolution strategies used by teacher/coaches are discussed.