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ERIC Number: EJ1185462
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
Adolescent Constructions of Gendered Identities: The Role of Sport and (Physical) Education
Metcalfe, Sarah
Sport, Education and Society, v23 n7 p681-693 2018
Participation in sport and Physical Education (PE) has historically been heavily gendered, and the glorification of masculinity and sporting prowess is viewed as a potentially negative influence on participation for both males and females. This paper explores male and female experiences of sport and PE to grasp how the field of physical culture represents a space for the development and enactment of gendered behaviours and norms within an active identity. Fifty-one individual or paired semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 young men and 37 young women in Year 11 (aged 15-16) at three demographically varied schools in North East England. Using Bourdieu's concepts of habitus, field, capital and doxa, this paper demonstrates that these young people identify feeling trapped in gendered norms and beliefs which recreate rigid notions of acceptable behaviours for young men and women. Interviewees often described gender in biological terms through a belief that masculinity is associated with maleness and femininity with femaleness. Through encouraging reflexivity as part of the interview process, young people were able to identify the (usually) non-conscious elements of their gendered habitus, which represent the taken-for-granted assumptions about masculinity and femininity which direct practice. Perceived gender pressures lead to self- and peer-surveillance within PE environments, whereby capital is allocated to gender- and sport-appropriate bodies. These findings suggest that PE and school structures regulate adolescent bodies, affecting participation in sport and physical activity in heavily gendered ways. Therefore, limited opportunities are available for young people to transgress the restrictive social norms which normalise the role of sport and PE for a successful male identity whilst simultaneously undermining the presence of an athletic female.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A