ERIC Number: ED362462
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-12
Diving into Troubled Waters: Sexual Discrimination in a Male Dominated Recreational Culture.
This paper presents results of a study of sex discrimination in the culture of scuba divers. The research grew out of class related conflicts that permitted observation in ethnographic field work, the character of gender relations in the recreational activity of scuba diving. The project was intended to investigate the role of communities of practice in recreational scuba diving. To carry out the research, a local dive shop was used to conduct an ethnographic inquiry. Although much of the diving industry believes otherwise, women still face what is an abysmal set of social relations within recreational diving. Discrimination is still a rampant and insidious problem. In addition to the explicit macho character of some discrimination, discrimination takes on other more subtle modes that, while less explicit, is in some sense more damaging. What is particularly disconcerting is the control of women through their objectification. Research on the diving culture suggests that women are denied access to precisely those subcommunities that are necessary for stable participation within diving unless they submit to a subjugating relationship. The result is a high drop out rate for women divers unable to find a suitable diving partner. Through this mechanism, the diving culture is able to admit virtually any woman who is willing to pay for entry into the diving culture (via course and equipment fees), but not allow any woman participation within that culture except on its own sexist terms. (DK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).