Sport is a social institution that is rife with raced and gendered discursive fields, creating structural and power relations that may influence the leadership experiences of Black women there-in. Tins study utilized the tenets of Black Feminist Thought as a foundation for examining the leadership experiences of a case selection of Black women (n=21) in community recreational sports. The results revealed that a personal interest in sport and an ethic of caring motivated the women’s involvement in the leadership of community recreation sports. Although the women reported barriers of gender inequity, racial discrimination, poor communication, lack of resources, and organizational constraints, they appeared to rely on their internal fortitude as a reservoir for resistance to combat the institutional challenges faced and have meaningful sport leadership experiences. The study illuminated the importance of individual consciousness to these women’s sense of self and their ability to resist the domination of the power and ideologies situated in their sport leadership settings.
Emma Sherry, Nico Schulenkorf, Emma Seal, Matthew Nicholson and Russell Hoye
As the field of sport-for-development (SFD) has developed, there has been increasing debate over the ability of SFD programs to effect lasting structural change on target communities. Highlighting the barriers to SFD program delivery in five Pacific Island nations, in this paper we argue that numerous challenges emerging at macro-, meso-, and microlevels must be explored, understood, and accounted for to enact structural change. Building on thematic findings from our empirical cross-nation research project, we discuss the importance of addressing SFD challenges at all levels of society to ensure that interventions are appropriately tailored for the specific and often divergent sociocultural contexts in the Pacific Islands region. We argue for a more holistic approach to planning, management, and evaluation when attempting to deliver structural change through sport.
Jennifer L. Fisette
The purpose of this study was to create an educational context in physical education to empower seven high school girls by giving them the opportunity to design, implement, and complete an action research project of their interest. Participants’ stories were told and voices heard through the development of informational products they dispersed among the student body. Specifically, the girls expressed that gender and embarrassment issues were barriers they encountered in physical education. As a result, they wanted to take action by learning how other high school students felt about these issues. This article examines my process as a reflexive researcher and the students’ process as participants and action researchers, as well as how various power hierarchies inherent in the educational structure both empowered and constrained the research.
William J. Rudman
This paper focuses on how age affects involvement in sport and physical activity. Investigated are questions related to how age differences in perceived barriers and outcomes to involvement in sport and physical activity, socioeconomic status, and sport philosophy/ideology affect joining a corporate versus a private sport and fitness program. A developmental lifestyle perspective is offered as the theoretical premise on which interpretations of the data are based. Findings from this study clearly show that reasons for involvement in sport and physical activity vary across the life cycle. At younger ages the psychological benefits associated with work related stress are perceived as the most important reason for involvement. During middle age, philosophical and ideological reasons begin to determine the setting where involvement in these programs takes place. Finally, for older individuals, philosophical differences along with socioeconomic factors determine both the extent and where involvement occurs.
The underrepresentation of women in the Paralympics movement warrants attention as the world prepares for Atlanta 1996, when Paralympics (conducted after the Summer Olympics) will attract approximately 3,500 athletes with physical disability or visual impairment from 102 countries. Barriers that confront women with disability, the Paralympic movement, and adapted physical activity as a profession and scholarly discipline that stresses advocacy and attitude theories are presented. Two theories (reasoned action and contact) that have been tested in various contexts are woven together as an approach particularly applicable to women in sport and feminists who care about equal access to opportunity for all women. Women with disability are a social minority that is both ignored and oppressed. Sport and feminist theory and action should include disability along with gender, race/ethnicity, class, and age as concerns and issues.
John N. Carr
This study aims to address how, to what extent, and under what conditions may those who are not cisgendered as male do the work of negotiating access to male sporting space. In doing so, it brings together critical geographies of masculinity and the critical literature on skateboarding to address the role of particular kinds of skateboarding spaces in either reproducing or potentially disrupting gender segregated, patriarchal skateboarding cultures. This project is offered not only to challenge patriarchal practices and values, but also to step beyond theory and actually examine how sport environments might be designed and sited so as to enable a wider range of gender performances and more inclusive spaces. Specifically, my research suggests that certain types of skate environments can somewhat lower women’s barriers to entering the gender charged realm of skateboarding if and when those responsible for those spaces take patriarchy and the needs of noncisgendered male skateboarders seriously.
Cette étude a pour but de savoir comment, dans quelle mesure et dans quelles conditions, les personnes n’étant pas des hommes cisgenres négocient leur accès dans l’univers sportif masculin. Pour ce faire, elle réunit les géographies critiques de la masculinité et la littérature critique sur le skateboard pour examiner le rôle de certains univers particuliers de cette pratique dans la reproduction, ou dans l’éventuelle rupture avec la ségrégation genrée, des cultures patriarcales du skateboard. Le but de ce projet n’est pas seulement de contester les pratiques et les valeurs patriarcales, mais aussi de dépasser la théorie et d’examiner vraiment comment les environnements sportifs pourrait être conçus et localisés de manière à permettre une plus grande variété de performances en fonction du genre et de devenir des espaces plus inclusifs. Plus spécifiquement, ma recherche suggère que certains types d’environnements dédiés à la glisse pourraient contribuer à réduire les barrières que rencontrent les femmes pour entrer dans la sphère fortement genrée du skateboard si et quand les responsables de ces espaces prendront sérieusement en compte le patriarcat et les besoins des skatebordeurs qui ne sont pas cisgenres.
Ellen J. Staurowsky, Erica J. Zonder and Brenda A. Riemer
As Title IX approaches its 50th anniversary, the state of its application to athletic departments within federally funded schools at the secondary and postsecondary levels evokes the expression “the more things change, the more things stay the same.” Title IX has been credited with successfully addressing sexual stereotypes that generally limited opportunities and created barriers for students to realize their full potential as athletes, citizens, parents, scholars, and workers (Buzuvis, 2012). As much as the educational landscape has changed as a result of Title IX, there remains a concern that schools do not have the mechanisms in place to ensure compliance five decades after the law was passed. The purpose of this study was to examine what college athletes know about Title IX and how they come to know it through a survey instrument comprised of five open-ended questions. Consistent with previous studies of coaches, athletics administrators, educators, and athletes, nearly 50% of the college athletes participating in this study did not know what Title IX was. For the remaining 50%, their perceptions of Title IX reveal large gaps in foundational understandings of what Title IX requires and how it works. The words of the respondents offer a window into their understandings and relationship with Title IX which cover a full spectrum from “it opens up the door for everyone” and “gives female athletes the support they need to succeed” to it results in an “illogical” way to achieve fairness.
Lea Ann “Beez” Schell and Stephanie Rodriguez
Italian Socialist Antonio Gramsci introduced the concept of hegemony in the early 1900s to describe how the capitalist elite maintain their dominant status, through a subtle imposition of ideology upon the masses. According to Gramsci, such a ruling class must generate a consensus of acceptance for dominant ideology. This consensus is created not by coercion, but through the influence of intellectuals and civic institutions. Gramsci’s concept may be applied to help explain the present status of American women in sport, by demonstrating the influence of masculinist hegemony over this institution. Women continue to face numerous barriers imposed by male hegemonic ideology, despite their recent attempts to gain equality and respect in sport. As well, some feminists may feel an ethical dilemma in their provision of support for women’s equality within an institution thought to be complicit with male hegemony. The purpose of this paper is to call attention to the difficulties faced by our sporting sisters and to identify proactive strategies that may work toward the elimination of gender-based economic, social, and political stratification in sport.
The Norwegian Confederation of Sports, the non-profit umbrella organization for all organized sports in Norway, has gradually accepted women’s demands for equal opportunities and full integration at all levels. The situation for women in sports politics and coaching today is characterized by male dominance as well as high drop-out rates and recruiting problems among women.
The aim of the investigation, as basis for this article, was to give women’s experiences within elected posts and coaching a public voice and elaborate why women hesitate to involve themselves or drop-out after a short period of time. The following questions are outlined and discussed:
- What motivates women to take up elected posts and coaching? - What experiences do women have after holding such posts and roles? - What problems and challenges seem to be difficult to face and handle?
The analytical perspective was inspired by the feminist critique of organizations as gender-neutral arenas, and Bourdieu’s analysis of dominance and power within social fields. The empirical material consisted of questionnaire data and data from a search conference. The sample consisted of women holding elected posts, as well as, female coaches.
Based upon the results women as a group within male domains were not empowered to raise and articulate interests and needs as women. The respondents reported an awareness of barriers, role conflicts and dilemmas, but lacked most often the ability to initiate collective emancipatory changes. The established male-dominated practices were seen as selfevident and natural. Many women chose the strategy of exit as the solution to their situation, because the cost of promoting change outweighed the benefits.
Melanie M. Adams and Diane L. Gill
Even with adequate levels of physical activity, sedentary behavior contributes to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Reducing sedentary behavior through increased daily movements, not solely exercise, can reduce health risks; particularly for women who are inactive and overweight. This study examined an intervention to increase overweight women’s self-efficacy for reducing sedentary behavior. Volunteers (M age =58.5 yrs, M BMI =36) were waitlisted (n = 24) or enrolled in the intervention (n = 40), called On Our Feet, which combined face-to-face sessions and e-mail messages over 6 weeks. Physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured by accelerometer and self-report. A 4-item survey assessed self-efficacy. Process evaluations included participant ratings of intervention components and open-ended questions. Repeated-measures ANOVAs revealed no changes in accelerometer-determined physical activity or sedentary behavior, but a significant multivariate interaction was found for self-reported sitting and physical activity, F(3,60) = 3.65, p = .02. Intervention participants increased both light and moderate physical activity and both groups decreased sedentary behavior. Self-efficacy decreased for all at midpoint, but intervention recipients rebounded at post. A moderately strong relationship (r = .48, p = .01) between midpoint self-efficacy and reduced sedentary behavior was found. Participants rated the pedometer, intervention emails, and goal setting as effective and highly used. Open-ended responses pointed to barriers of required sitting and a need to match intervention components to women’s lives. Community-based interventions for reducing sedentary behavior have the potential to improve health. Ideas to enhance future interventions are discussed.