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Title: The intersecting social identities of Canadian national team female boxers
Authors: Ge, Yang
Keywords: intersectionality;social identities;female boxer;culture sport psychology;cultural praxis;arts-based method;creative nonfiction inquiry
Issue Date: 21-Aug-2018
Abstract: Understanding athletes as whole person through the lens of social identities is an emerging line of inquiry in both the academic and practical fields, within sport psychology (Schinke & McGannon, 2015). Social identities can be represented as socially constructed and group-based conceptions that people are categorized within multiple social groups, such as gender, race, sexuality, class, education, age, ethnicity, and disability, which constituting each person as who they are and how they relate to the outside world (Blodgett, Schinke, McGannon & Fisher, 2014). In the previous research, researchers portrayed athletes only through the role-based athletic identity (Ronkainen, Kavoura, & Ryba, 2016). Utilizing social constructionism, in the current dissertation, identities were conceptualized as multifaceted, fluid, performative, and contextually contingent products of cultural narratives and discourses (Schinke & McGannon, 2015), saturated with power, making individuals privileged in certain cultural discourses while subordinated in others (Collins, 2000). To develop an understanding of complexity and multiplicity of athletes, I integrated an intersectionality framework to investigate how do athletes engage in the sport team with multiple aspects of selves within the Canadian National Female Boxing Team. The research questions were structured as: (1) How do the national female boxers construct multiple social identities in boxing? (2) What social identities are privileged and what are subordinated on the Canadian National Boxing Team? (3) What are the implications of the various culturally constructed social identities and associated meanings for female boxers’ sport experience and wellbeing? Ten national female boxers participated in this research. Art-based method and conversational interview were employed to facilitate rich storied accounts around social identities iv (Smith, 1999). Interpretive thematic analysis (Braun & Clark, 2016) and creative nonfiction inquiry (Smith & McGannon, 2015) were used to organize the data around research questions. Based on the stories and experiences athletes shared, nine social identities were identified as salient and meaningful to athletes’ sport experience on the National Team context, where the patriarchal, whiteness-centered; and pragmatic discourses inform the identity inequality issues on the team. The identities were coalesced into three groups (gender-sexuality-physicality, race and ethnicity- languagereligion, and socioeconomic status-weight categories- the athletic level) for analysis. Seven vignettes were presented to show the different social realities that athletes constructed pertaining to these social identities. Following the CSP agenda, the current project aims to empower marginalized identities and to build up a culturally inclusive sport environment. Five conclusions were generated around the intersectionality of athletes’ social identities, with the practical implications, recommendations, and interventions were presented correspondingly.
Appears in Collections:Human Kinetics - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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