Gendered performances in sport: an embodied approach

Wellard, I. (2016) Gendered performances in sport: an embodied approach. Palgrave Communications, 2. ISSN 2055-1045.

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Despite significant advances in recent years, gender inequalities remain apparent within the context of sport participation and engagement. One of the problems, however, when addressing gender issues in sport is the continued assumption by many sport practitioners that the experiences of women and men will always be different because of perceived physiological characteristics. Adopting a focus based solely upon perceived gendered differences often overlooks the importance of recognising individual experience and the prevailing social influences that impact upon participation, such as age, class, race and ability.

An embodied approach, as well as seeking to move beyond mind/body dualisms, incorporates the physiological with the social and psychological. Therefore, it is suggested that while considerations of gender remain important, they need to be interpreted alongside other interconnecting and influential (at varying times and occasions) social and physical factors. It is argued that taking the body as a starting point opens up more possibilities to manoeuvre through the mine field that is gender and sport participation. The appeal of an embodied approach to the study of gender and sport is in its accommodation of a wider multi-disciplinary lens. Particularly, by acknowledging the subjective, corporeal, lived experiences of sport engagement, an embodied approach offers a more flexible starting point to negotiate the theoretical and methodological challenges created by restrictive discourses of difference.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Ian Wellard
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2016 14:48
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2016 14:54

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00