Growing (Pains in) the Game: A Case Study of Girls' Hockey Governance in Alberta, Canada In the last two decades we have witnessed extraordinary changes and growth in girls' and women's hockey in Canada and around the world. Most notable is the continual growth at the grassroots level. Yet, across Canada, the growth and transformations in the girls' and women's game vary from region to region and, we argue, is often shaped and influenced by the governance structures that organize girls' and women's involvement in the sport. Building on the work of Stevens and Adams (forthcoming) and Adams and Stevens (2007), in this paper we explore girls' hockey governance in Alberta, Canada. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews, organizational documents, meeting minutes and, in some cases, field observations, we examine developments, changes, and challenges over the past two decades faced by girls' hockey organizers and the impact particular governance models have had on the growth of the game to explore the nuances and complexities of grassroots girls' hockey in the Alberta context. P2: Erin L. Morris, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jacqueline McDowell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Jeremy Robinett, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A Liberal Feminist Analysis of the Effects of Gendered Rules on Ice Hockey Players Perceptions of Female Players and Coaches Girls and women are increasingly participating in ice hockey; however, gendered rules prohibit body checking, an integral practice in hockey, at all levels of women's competition, but not in the men's games. Due to low participation numbers, girls often participate on boys' teams until checking is introduced at the bantam level. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss research that examined youth hockey players' perspectives on female players' abilities, as well as the impact of the checking rule on players' views of female coaches. A liberal feminist framework was used to approach this research. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with Peewee (U-12) and Bantam (U-14) hockey players. Findings revealed that most of the players believed that if girls are given equitable opportunity, they could be as skilled as boys and that women could be good coaches if they had the appropriate knowledge of skills being taught. The participants did understand why girls should play by different rules than boys since society strives for equity and they would be competing against equally skilled girls. This study has implications for hockey association's inclusion of female players within predominantly male and for potential reconsideration of the necessity of the checking ban. P3: Katrina Krawec, University of Windsor
Women Shaping and Being Shaped by Tackle Football Participation in Canada The establishment of the International Federation of American Football's Women's World Championship in 2010 acknowledged women's increased participation in tackle football, a traditionally male-dominated and 'masculine' sport. My study examines how Canadian female football players are shaping and being shaped by their participation in the sport. My approach reflects a duality of structure framework, which posits that individuals are constantly shaping and being shaped by the social world around them. Through six semi-structured interviews with administrators and players involved in the Western Women's Canadian Football League (WWCFL) I examined the league's structure and factors that have shaped its development, and participants' experiences playing football and being involved in the league. Results indicated that men's tackle football greatly shaped the WWCFL in its rules, policies, access to resources, including facilities, equipment, and coaches, and how the participants described their sport and themselves as football players. Interviewees believed that they were broadening the sport participation possibilities for females by creating opportunities for girls and women to play football. My research aims to enhance current knowledge about the sport participation experiences of females, which may be used to develop strategies to allow for the full, positive participation of females in sport. P4: Jennifer L. Fisette, Kent State University
The Marathon Journey of My Body-Self and Performing Identity In this auto ethnography, I provide voice to the wounded storyteller (Frank, 1995) in my journey to address issues of embodiment, ‘the body,’ and illness in relation to my performing identity, with a particular focus on how I was able to overcame a spinal injury, partial paralysis, and lower back surgeries to cross the finish line as a ‘runner.’ I explore how my embodied identity(ies) was initially centered on my athletic and physical successes early on in my life to how my sense of body-self has been translated due to an unexpected ‘illness’ and deteriorated physical conditions I have encountered over the past decade, causing me to question, challenge, and critique my perceptions of my performing identity in my altered and new ‘body.’ Specifically, I will situate my performing identity and embodiment among ‘problems’ of control, body-relatedness, other-relatedness, and desire as well as position my body-self across a continuum of resolutions within the disciplined, mirroring, dominating, and communicative bodies (Frank, 1995).
Session Title: Technologies of the Body
Session Type:Paper Presentation session
Note: FULL/4 Participants: P1: Bahar Tajrobehkar, York University
Subverting the Ideal: Canadian Female Bodybuilders' Resistance of Idealized Femininity Women's bodybuilding, and the muscular physique cultivated within the sport, radically confronts hegemonic sex/gender binaries by challenging the social construction of the female body as frail, fragile or limited (Bunsell, 2013). In the context of competitive bodybuilding, however, women's colonization of the muscular body is policed through competition judging criteria that, to date, monitor and manage women's extreme muscularity in order to stay within certain ranges of acceptable gender and sexuality (Heywood, 1998). Female competitors are required to display femininity and implied heterosexuality on stage through their attitude, gestures, posing, make-up, hairstyle, and adornments (Lowe, 1998). Thus, competitive bodybuilding provides a paradoxical context within which female muscle is both nurtured and simultaneously disciplined. How then do female bodybuilders respond to and negotiate this paradox? The objective of this proposed project is to examine the experiences of these athletes to understand the ways in which they negotiate, and in particular resist, the imposition and policing of idealized femininity within competitive bodybuilding. Key research questions include: 1) how do Canadian female bodybuilders negotiate the restrictive judging criteria of the current bodybuilding federations?; and 2) how do these guidelines and judging criteria limit women's bodybuilding in Canada and lead to the exclusion/marginalization of some women from competition? P2: Jesse L. Couture, University of Lethbridge
Triathlon Magazine Canada and the (Re-) Construction of Female Sporting Bodies This paper provides a critical look at the ways in which the female sporting body is represented within Triathlon Magazine Canada, Canada's only triathlon-exclusive magazine. The analysis focuses on the visual and narrative representations of the athletic, muscular, female body in the magazine and argues that the sport of triathlon and also the bodies of triathletes work to destabilize existing, socially-constructed, gender binaries. Despite the relative infancy of triathlon within Canadian sport, the histories of the three sports contained therein have each been well-documented and extensively theorized within Canadian sport literature. By placing some of these historical moments and these shared fragments of Canadian sport history in conversation with one another, and also with the sport of triathlon, I argue that the sport of triathlon and the bodies of triathletes can be considered among the first examples of acceptably androgynous sporting bodies within Canadian sport. Further, I argue Triathlon Magazine Canada can be read as a largely progressive 'text' with respect to its representations of athletic or sporting femininities, challenging and disrupting the traditional dichotomization of what female and male athletic bodies should and can look like. P3: Kristine Newhall,
Gym Cyborgs? The Natural/Technological Negotiation in Fitness
In this presentation, I focus on the boundaries between bodies and machines, and the natural and the technological binary as it manifests in the space of the multi-purpose gym. I examine the discursive construction of fitness as natural amid the growing visibility and discussions of fitness technologies keeping in mind the individual mandate for fitness and health that circulates in western neoliberal culture. This presentation draws on the philosophical writing about technologies of the body alongside my research, based on participant observation at three multi-purpose gyms, of how gym equipment and trends complicate both the natural/technological and inside/outside binary, how women's bodies in particular are implicated in these binaries, and the blurring of the naturally/artificially created body. Though body consciousness remains heightened during time spent in the gym, I argue that how gym bodies interact with fitness technologies remains unexamined. The compulsory achievement of aesthetics and health results in an individual focus on how the body is being perceived based on what it can or cannot do. The technologies of fitness exercisers choose are modes of production. The bodies produced influence what the body can accomplish ‘and what it is perceived to be able to do’ both in and outside the gym. P4: Sarah C. Barnes, Queen's University
Affective Economies of Sport: In this paper I consider the way that emotions circulate in elite women's sport contexts. I adopt Sara Ahmed's (2004) concept of "affective economies" and analyze a training session from my own high performance career where my investments in gender and sexuality were challenged. In her account of emotion, Ahmed (2004) decenters the subject and she positions emotions as sets cultural practices that have material effects. Ahmed (2004) carves out space to explore the collective and historical dimensions of embodied emotion. By rereading my own experiences through an affective frame I press the logic of progress that permeates women's sport by focusing on the ways that homophobia is reproduced through emotion. Ahmed's (2004) theoretical insights help me to consider how emotions work to surface the material boundaries of bodies in ways that contribute to ongoing marginalization in women's elite sport settings. Ahmed's (2004) work also provides insights on the role of emotion in social change and a unique perspective from which to examine women in sport.
Session Title: Institutionalizing Youth Sport
Session Type:Paper Presentation session
Note: FULL/3 Participants: P1: Bethan C. Kingsley, University of Alberta and Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere, University of Alberta
If You Invest: The Conditional Sport Engagement of Youth Living with Lower Incomes As the global economy continues to shift, the cost of sport participation in Canada continues to rise. Sport has become increasingly less accessible for people without the disposable income to pay for membership fees, equipment and/or transportation. Our response to this trend as researchers and practitioners has been to examine and attempt to remove the barriers that prevent participation. Despite these efforts, participation remains low for people living with lower incomes, particularly for youth. In this presentation, we draw on qualitative interviews with young people and parents living with lower incomes to explore youth sport engagement. Through a class lens, we discuss the drive for high performance that creates conditions of engagement in youth sport. In particular, young people identified the need to "invest" their time and bodies in order to engage in sport. The need to invest reflected the presence of cultural conditions that most youth could not or did not want to adhere to. We suggest that 'access' extends beyond the demand for financial resources, recognizing the equally prominent cultural conditions that exist in youth sport and the ways they impact (and limit) the engagement of young people. P2: Michael Atkinson, University of Toronto
Les Misérables: Humiliation, Shame and Biopedagogies of the Oppressed Spotted studies of humiliation rituals in youth and adult sport contexts point to a disturbing cultural and institutional trend. Indeed, studies of youth involvement in competitive sport and other physical cultures point to the use of humiliation (particularly in training and hazing contexts) as an institutionally supported, and oft times culturally unchallenged, mode of youth bio pedagogy, mentoring, motivation, and peer-group modeling. In this paper, I draw on six years of ethnographic research collected through two separate, but concatenated, studies of amateur sport (namely, soccer, rugby and ice hockey) in the United Kingdom and Canada in the process of unpacking how humiliation is deeply embedded and lauded in suffering rituals in sport. Drawing largely on the theoretical works of Harold Garfinkel, Erving Goffman and Norbert Elias, I illustrate the complex social conditions and climates involved in youth sport that lead to both the institutionalization of humiliation as standard physical cultural fare, and the degree to which sporting institutions are able to effectively legitimize multiple forms of athlete degradation. P3: Lawrence W. Judge, Ball State University, and Emese Ivan, St. Johns University
The Youth Olympic Games: To Educate, To Build Cultural Competencies, or to Manage Power Relations? By establishing the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) further manifested its increasing interest in the physical and moral education of our nation's youth. However, the introduction of the YOG raised skepticism regarding the true intent of the IOC. Skeptics questions whether the YOG was established to address the physical and moral education of our youth or in response to Foucault's hypothesis on power techniques and forms of knowledge as a means to establish technologies of power and domination. Building upon previous research of Green and Houlihan (2006), Chatziefstathiou and Henry (2010), Judge at al. (2011, 2012) and Ivan and Fay (2012) the purpose of this paper is to analyze the perspectives of National and International sports leaders regarding the promotion of the YOG and its goals to their shareholders: athletes, members, and fans. The intention is to investigate whether the promotion of modernized values to young people through the YOG is viewed as a manifestation of a growing interest in youth as being active citizens—or as an avenue to further reinforce the 'disciplinary' model: building responsible young citizens while reaching out to them with sponsorships, advertisement, and different technologies of power. P4: Christine Dallaire, Research Centre for Sport in Canadian Society, University of Ottawa, and Jean Harvey, Research Centre for Sport in Canadian Society, University of Ottawa
Young Athletes' Perspectives on the Benefits of their Participation in the Finale des Jeux du Québec Established in 1971 by the Quebec Government, the Finale des Jeux du Québec is an annual multisport competition developing competitive sporting talents in a friendly environment. Financed through the Quebec leisure and sport policy, the event is also meant to foster a distinct identity among Quebeckers (Harvey, 1999). This paper focuses on the young athletes' perspectives on the impact of the games both on their sporting development and on their sense of belonging to the only Francophone province in Canada. The results of a survey administered to 441 teenage athletes during the 2010 edition of the Finale as well as interviews with another 82 participants show that these games succeeded in supporting their competitive talents and sport commitment, more so than other Francophone games in Canada (Dallaire, 2003, 2004). A greater number of participants are focused on sport and wish to remain involved in various ways. While participants made friends within their delegation or their sport discipline, meeting other Quebec youth in a French environment, the event did not discernibly rally athletes to the Québécois identity as a distinct Francophone sense of belonging. If anything, their experience at the Games fostered a regional attachment to their delegation.
Session Title: Sexism in Sports Journalism
Session Type:Paper Presentation session
Note: FULL/4 Participants: P1: Steve L. Bien-Aime, Pennsylvania State University
Invisible or Not? Representations of Women in the Associated Press Stylebook While women are able to participate in sports at the highest levels, sport itself is viewed as masculine (Burstyn, 1999; Cahn, 1994). In the United States, the major male sport leagues have television contracts worth hundreds of millions to billions of dollars annually. Therefore, it is apropos to examine how the sports media landscape contributes to the masculine depiction of sport, more specifically journalism. Lapchick et al. (2011) has found that sports newsrooms fail in terms of gender diversity. A logical extension of the overabundance of men in sport journalism could be that the manuals dictating sport journalism style reflect a very masculine view of sport. Rather this behavior is more likely due to what Swim, Mallett, and Stangor (2004) call subtle sexism or "unequal and unfair treatment of women that is not recognized by many people because it is perceived to be normative, and therefore does not appear unusual" (p. 117). Therefore, a quantitative content analysis of the "Sports guidelines and style" portion of 2012 edition of The Associated Press Stylebook will be able to help gauge whether subtle sexism exists in terms of invisibility of women in the stylebook consistent with sports being perceived as a male domain. P2: Sada J. Reed, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Who is Steering this Ship? The Diverse Origins and Objectives of Sports Journalism Associations The following paper is an analysis of 11 American sports journalism professional associations' codes of ethics, as well as three versions of Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics. This analysis was done in order to better understand sports professional associations' ethical objectives and how these objectives differ from SPJ's codes, or the codes often used in newsrooms. Results suggest that sports journalism professional associations historically have diverse objectives when it comes to addressing ethics: Four of the 11 associations have codes of ethics, though four other associations do not have codes per se, but rules that communicate associations' expectations for professional behavior. Three associations heavily reference SPJ, while two specifically defer to members' employers' codes. Older associations, founded pre-1960s, reference ethics—in some fashion—more frequently than younger associations, which focus primarily on improving working conditions, like better press box conditions and less expensive transportation and hotel rates. In conclusion, this paper argues that sports journalism professional associations historically had diverse purposes, most of which did not include leading industry-wide dialogue about ethical behavior. Instead, associations were created as a way to establish power as a collective in order to improve sports journalists' working conditions and to give them influence within the sports world in which they worked. P3: Simon A. McEnnis, University of Brighton
Raising Our Game: What Citizen Journalism on Twitter Means for the Professional Identity and Working Practices of British Sports Journalist This paper analyzes what citizen journalism on Twitter has meant for the professional identity and working practices of British sports journalists using data from a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Sports journalists recognize the need to strive for higher professional standards to ensure their output is of greater cultural significance than those of citizen journalists. Trust—achieved through the occupational ideologies of truth, reliability and insight—is seen as essential to this elevation. The democratization of breaking news has meant red-top tabloid and 24-hour rolling news organizations must re-position themselves in the market by being more diverse in their use of other journalistic practices such as investigative reporting. P4: Annemarie Farrell, Ithaca College
Shhhhhh: Sport, Culture and the Secrets We Share Since its inception in January 2005, PostSecret has become one of the most popular websites on the Internet and has launched successful books and college speaking tours. The site features anonymous submissions in the form of decorated postcards depicting and revealing secrets the authors have never shared; they are posted to the Internet every Sunday. The secrets' themes are diverse and reflect the complexities of life. Yet, throughout its 7-plus years in existence, topics related to sport have become commonplace. How do aspects of lives lived in sporting contexts and in a sport-rich culture form the secrets we keep? When do the identities of being fans, coaches, and athletes manifest themselves as things we hide from others in the form of a "secret?" This presentation will explore the different themes of PostSecret submissions spanning the history of the project, as well as provide an opportunity to discuss the intersections of identity and sport showcased by these anonymous contributions.