Girls’ active identities: navigating othering discourses of femininity, bodies and physical education
L320 Gender studies
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AbstractWithin physical education and sport, girls must navigate discourses of valued athletic and gendered bodies that marginalise or ‘other’ non-normative performances through systems of surveillance and punishment. The purpose of this paper is to share girls’ perspectives on how these discourses affected their gender performances and activity engagement. Students aged 13-14 in one ethnically diverse UK secondary school were invited to create a photo diary of the physical activities they engaged in. Photo elicitation interviews in small groups followed. The girls positioned themselves as physically active but had to carefully manage their activity choices and gender performances in a single-sex physical education environment that regulated deviation from the fit, slender, girly girl. Although the girls demonstrate the difficulty of resisting, they indicate moments of positioning themselves against norms that suggest the possibilities of shifting gendering processes. The paper points out the importance of listening to ‘other’ girls’ narratives in building positive physical education engagements.
CitationHill J (2015) 'Girls’ active identities: navigating othering discourses of femininity, bodies and physical education', Gender and Education, 27 (6), pp.666-684.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalGender and Education