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Trevor Williams

The subject of this paper is the sport socialization of athletes with disabilities; the object is to contribute to research and praxis through a review of the relevant sociological literature on the subject. The majority of the research, which uses structural-functionalism, is seen as a set of pioneering attempts to generate reliable information. However, the resulting information is too simplistic and theoretically deficient. The minority of the research, which uses interactionism, is seen as complementing the structural-functionalist studies by focusing on different aspects of the socialization experiences of athletes with disabilities. This research is insightful but it is collectively unsystematic. It is concluded that the study of disability sport socialization is in its infancy and is in urgent need of an adequate theoretical foundation. Three theoretical suggestions are offered to provide such a foundation, together with substantive suggestions for focusing on the themes of institutionalized physical activity and sport, social relationships, social configurations, and social control.

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Christine E. Wegner, Bradley J. Baker, and Gareth J. Jones

volunteers in order to better understand the process that bonds individuals to organizations. Specifically, we explored the extent to which organizational identities develop and change over time, both in magnitude and meaning. Guided by the theoretical perspective of identity construction ( Ashforth

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David Brown and John Evans

Drawing on illustrations from a recent life history study that focused on male student teachers as they negotiated their way through a 1-year postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) physical education teacher training course at a university in England, this paper explores how teachers are implicated in the social construction of gender relations in teaching physical education and school sport. The perspective forwarded is that the embodied gendered dispositions student teachers bring into the profession constitute a powerful influence on their professional behavior, and that the development and legitimation of these dispositions might be traced to key relationships with other physical education and coaching professionals. In so doing, we identify key moments in a process of cultural reproduction and conclude that teachers might be viewed as intergenerational living links or cultural conduits in the construction and transmission of particular gender orientations and practices in the profession. We conclude that future research needs to be intergenerational in focus if we are to better understand how these links act as channels in reproducing gender relations and how we might rupture and challenge them.

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Garry Crawford and Victoria K. Gosling

This article considers the social importance of sports-themed video games, and more specifically, discusses their use and role in the construction of gaming and wider social narratives. Here, building on our own and wider sociological and video games studies, we advocate adopting an audience research perspective that allows for consideration of not only narratives within games but also how these narratives are used and located within the everyday lives of gamers. In particular, we argue that sports-themed games provide an illustrative example of how media texts are used in identity construction, performances, and social narratives.

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Marilyn Poole

The article explores the lived experiences of older women with a high commitment to exercise. The methods of investigation were in-depth interviews with 17 women fitness instructors for the over-50s and the author's observations as a participant in a variety of exercise programs. The subjective experience of embodiment of older women, the ways in which the body is constructed discursively, and the objective processes of aging are explored. The women's narratives are placed in the wider context of consumption, lifestyle, and identity construction. The study analyzes whether older women's commitment to exercise is a reflection of a climate of constraint, in which individuals seek to shape and manage the body lo combat the effects of aging, or is one of empowerment and enablement. More important, the article explores the ways in which the women used fitness programs as a means of constructing intimacy, a sense of community, and satisfaction in interpersonal relations.

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Pirkko Markula

There has been a longstanding divide between the sociology and psychology of exercise despite common interests in individual subjectivity and identity construction through exercise practices. In this paper, I aim to find possible intersections for the two disciplines by using theoretical insights from discursive and critical psychology as well as sociocultural research on embodied experiences in exercise. Drawing from both psychological and sociocultural research on exercising bodies, I problematize different conceptualizations of subjectivity, identity, and power relations to critically examine interconnections between these different research traditions. I also highlight some of their theoretical limitations to suggest further theoretical readings that might enhance interdisciplinary analyses of change emanating from the microlevel of individual actions by both psychological and sociocultural research on the physically active body.

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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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Milena M. Parent and Peter O. Foreman

Although identity, image, and reputation are important issues for the sport management field, little research has examined how sport organizations construct and manage such intangible yet critical aspects of their organizations. This article addresses this gap in the literature by exploring the process of identity construction within organizing committees of major sporting events. The insights gained from two case studies indicate that committees draw on three types of identity referents: the nature of the event, context, and key individuals of organizing committees. These referents are projected as images from the organizing committee to various stakeholder groups and then reflected back to the organizing committee. In addition, images are often received by stakeholders through indirect channels of transmission, especially the media, further complicating the process of image and identity management. Finally, organizing committees attempt to manage the process primarily via verbal and symbolic communication strategies.

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Xiaofen D. Keating, Ke Zhou, Jingwen Liu, Rulan Shangguan, Yao Fan, and Louis Harrison

The purposes of this project were to conduct an overall review of research on preservice physical education (PE) teacher (referred to preservice PE teachers as preservice specialist) and/or preservice elementary teacher (referred to preservice elementary teachers as preservice generalist) PE identities and to identify any new trends in research on the topic. Studies were selected for analysis through searches of databases in English without time limits. In total, 27 articles were identified including 14 data-based studies. The majority of the selected studies (85.7%) employed qualitative methods. Research on the topic was not dominated by any single country. The focus of previous research was centered on determinants of preservice specialists’ PE identity construction such as PE coursework and student teaching. Information about the development and measurement of PE identity among preservice specialists and generalists is still sparse. More research on examining the complexity, nurturing, and reshaping of PE identities is needed.

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Joseph Maguire and Louise Mansfield

This paper seeks to synthesize aspects of feminism and figurational (process) sociology. Women’s bodies are viewed as sites for studying interrelationships between power, gender, and identity construction. The behavioral and emotional rituals of women in a specific aerobics class are mapped out and located within the “exercise–body beautiful complex.” We explore the way in which social constraints and individual self-control interweave in the rationalized management of women’s bodies. The embodied experiences of these women are intertwined with long term enabling and constraining features. Covertly disempowering, the “exercise–body beautiful complex” reinforces established standards of femininity. The realignment of dominant images of femininity is advocated in order to extend the liberating features of the figuration in question.