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Title: Can sport provide a space for gender equality? : a qualitative study of children who play korfball
Author: Gubby, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 8461
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2016
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Mixed sport has been described as having the potential to de-gender sporting activities and bodily experiences, as well as combat gender inequalities (Laberge and Albert, 2000). Korfball was originally invented within the educational setting by a Dutch school teacher who designed rules to encourage boys and girls to participate on a level playing field (Summerfield and White, 1989). This thesis provides a historical overview of korfball in order to explain the contrasting trajectory of the sport in comparison to traditional sport, and explores the power structures and ideologies that may have influenced the creator of korfball. This research involved a yearlong ethnographic study with a junior korfball team (under 13s), and during this time interviews took place with five girls and four boys. The analysis of findings demonstrated how korfball players were experiencing this sport in a different way to other sports. Both the opinions of players, and observation of formal and informal practices, demonstrated how the 'whole package' (Wellard, 2013) of korfball was important to players. Some of Foucault's descriptions of power relations were used to explain the occurring phenomena, and the effect of wider society upon the experiences of korfball. The rules of the game and various influences meant that korfball spaces often facilitated and promoted sporting equality. Yet, in spite of sex equality often being visible within the junior korfball space, normalised gendered performances were still evident. Judith Butler's (1990, 1993) ideas were applied to these findings to aid explanations. Junior korfball players within this study usually maintained an understanding of gender that reflected wider social norms. Players were often reluctant to think critically about accepted gender norms, but the findings from this study were more positive regarding equality within korfball, than previous studies (Crum, 1988; Thompson and Finnigan, 1990; Summerfield and White, 1989).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GV0706.5 Sports sociology