Does korfball have the potential to resist current gender discourses in PE?: perspectives of junior korfball players

Gubby, L. (2018) Does korfball have the potential to resist current gender discourses in PE?: perspectives of junior korfball players. In: AIESEP (International Association of Colleges of Physical Education) World Congress, July 2018, Edinburgh.

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Korfball was invented in a mixed Primary School in Amsterdam in the 1900s (IKF, 2006; Summerfield and White, 1989). The main catalyst for the development of korfball was a need for a competitive mixed sport that relied on cooperation, and meant boys and girls could participate on a level playing field (Summerfield and White, 1989).

Previous research into gender in physical education (PE) has found that young people gain gender-related understandings through PE (Azzarito, 2009; and Azzarito and Solomon, 2009; Chalabaev, et al., 2013; Azzarito and Solomon, 2010; Wright, 1995). Thorne (1993) argues that to remove binary thinking and notions of hegemonic masculinity and femininity, PE lessons should promote equality between girls and boys, reflect cooperation and teamwork between all, and demonstrate to students that gender inclusivity is achievable.

This paper will discuss findings from a larger study which adopted an interpretivist approach, and used ethnographic methods such as participant observation and interviews to investigate how junior korfball players understand gender. Players frequently referred to the limitations with their current PE experiences, suggesting that the mixed element of korfball provides opportunities for boys and girls to come together in PE lessons. Players described how the structure of the korfball game reflects a need to use both sexes, and this might improve mixed PE lessons since, currently, PE involves the boys excluding the girls. Players also discussed preconceived ideas about girls playing boys’ games and boys playing girls’ games, which led to problematic actions and interactions in current mixed PE settings.

Findings suggest that embodied practices which demonstrate the abilities of girls as well as boys, could lead to resistance of dominant discourses which reinforce gender difference and the physical inferiority of girls. Additionally, korfball might provide a space which alters dominant discourse often reproduced in a PE and sporting environment.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0201 Physical education
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0706.5 Sports sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Education > School of Childhood and Education Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Laura Gubby
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2018 08:40
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2018 08:40

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