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Iscensättningen av kön i idrott: En nutidshistoria om idrottsmannen och idrottskvinnan
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Education in Arts and Professions. Idrott, fritid och lärande. (Pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur)
2001 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this dissertation is to disseminate the construction of masculinity and femininity in sport and sports related research. The major research question is how sport and sports related research function, on the one hand in the production of 'women' and 'men' as objects and subjects of knowledge, and on the other as a technique or procedure for regulating men's and women's behaviour and ways of reflecting upon themselves. The interest is thus aimed at how gendered subjects are made. Of particular interest is the concept of equal opportunities between women and men in sport as a new way of creating sexual/gender difference. Michel Foucault's concept 'governmentality', roughly the relation between the histories of the practices of the self and the practices of government, serves as one important tool in this work.

Empirically, the study derives from 22 interviews with teenagers and coaches in track and field athletics. The interviews comprises of three themes: 'me and other boys and girls in sport', 'the body' and 'the coach'. The teenagers' answers can simultaneousl be seen as reproducing and opposing conventional perceptions of men as autonomous and goal achievement oriented, and women as dependent and relation oriented. What historical conditions have made this situation possible?

A genealogical study of the construction of sport, and of masculinity and femininity in sport and sports related research, show that a patriarchal governmentality, where young men were seen as the only 'appropriate' competitive sportsmen, have successively been transformed into a social-liberal and a neo-liberal governmentality. In patriarchal discourses, a strong emphasis is put on gender differentiation and 'seriousness' (i.e. competition and performance) in sport. The sporting subject is constructed as a decidedly masculine subject. In social-liberal discourses, an emphasis is put on social relations and fellowship, and the sporting subject is constructed as a gender-neutral (and somewhat disembodied) subject. In neo-liberal discourses, the subject is constructed as an individual, however gender-specific (and heterosexual), subject. Neo-liberal does not emphasise difference between subjects (social and physical difference) but difference inside the subject (individual). Modern power relations aim at procedures that occur inside the subject and not so much at what takes place between the subjects.

The concept of gender equity between women and men has grown strong in sports discourse since the 70s. It can be seen as a practical strategy of guaranteeing women and men the opportunities to do the same things - competitive sport for instance. At the same time it performs two distinct and clearly differentiated gendered subjects, to be equalised. As such gender equity policies might be preceived as an apparatus that produces and regulates sexual/gender difference.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: HLS Förlag, 2001. , 289 p.
Studies in educational sciences, ISSN 1400-478X ; 43
Keyword [sv]
idrott, genus, diskurs, governmentality, ungdomar, jämställdhet
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-18849ISBN: 91-7656-497-5OAI: diva2:185372
Public defence
2001-09-14, Sal D3, Rålambsvägen 24, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-02-09 Created: 2009-02-09 Last updated: 2014-01-28Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, Håkan
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