Sports socialisation of 11 to 20 year old Brazilian girls in the 1990s : a social psychological study
This doctoral thesis sets out to make an original contribution to an underdeveloped field of research. It analyses in detail the sports socialisation of 11 to 20 year old schoolgirls in the 1990s in Brazil. Admittedly, there is an acknowledged and growing body of research on this subject, particularly in the Anglo-Saxon world and in other European countries. In Brazil, however, there is a real dearth of thoroughgoing analysis of its complexities. By means of substantial empirical data analysis (1 497 subjects, aged between 11 and 20) this study in social psychology not only brings to light the very real problems of female adolescent socialisation into sport and other physical activities. It also sets these problems in a far more complex context than existing research in Brazil has been prepared to do. To this end both institutional (social, cultural, economic, political) and individual (above all gender) variables will be examined together. The substantial critical review encompasses the state of research in the subject of women's sports socialisation over the last twenty-five years. It presents patterns in an international context, discusses the under-representation of women and goes on to consider institutional and individual factors with a bearing on women's sport participation. A final review section on the adolescent will provide the hypotheses which are tested against the empirical findings, by use of a questionnaire (included in the appendix). After a careful presentation of the methodology, a detailed breakdown of the results is then presented. 42.8% of respondents played at least one sport once a week, and the index of participation decreased from the age of 13. Volleyball, gymnastics and swimming are practised, and football and weight-lifting considered the least appropriate forms of sporting practice for women. Motives adduced for participation included health, being in shape, and making friends. In terms of influences, the PE teacher emerges as the most important socialising agent. The analysis made of the situation of sports in Brazil reveals the persistence of stereotypes and consequent low levels of women's sports participation. The final chapter engages in a thoroughgoing critique of these findings in both an international and national context and makes some suggestions as to potential political applications of the results.