“It’s not what’s intended, but it’s what happens”: young women’s participation in Sport for Development and Peace in Colombia and the complexity of gender relations

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Oxford, Sarah (2018) “It’s not what’s intended, but it’s what happens”: young women’s participation in Sport for Development and Peace in Colombia and the complexity of gender relations. PhD thesis, Victoria University.

Abstract

For women in Colombia playing sports was taboo for years. However, through Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) organizations, new spaces for female participation have emerged in recent decades. My research questions how girls and young women’s participation in a Colombian SDP organization shapes and constrains gender relations. This research includes six months of ethnographic fieldwork. Sixty interviews and many observations of participant's engagement were conducted in two distinct, low socio-economic neighborhoods where the SDP organization operates. My findings show female SDP participants are challenging gender roles in Colombia. The challenges were done in subtle and sometimes more overt ways with varying degrees of success; often rife with tensions and contradictions. Drawing from a decolonial feminist perspective and using an intersectional/entangled approach, this thesis explores the processes and mechanisms – gendered socialization, accessing alternative femininity, a constrained social bubble – that delimit girls and young women’s participation and perhaps invalidate steps toward social transformation. I argue that although more girls and young women are participating in masculine labeled pursuits, there are critical limitations to social change and female participants demonstrate the coloniality of gender in action. This research offers an in-depth focus on some of the complex and contradictory workings of gender within a sporting context, in Colombia. It also broadly raises some pressing concerns for scholars of gender and sport. Specifically, it calls for more researchers to apply a decolonial approach and for the SDP industry to be decolonized.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/37843
Subjects Current > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Current > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords sports; gender; gender roles; Colombians; girls; women; decolonial feminism; femininity; social change; sport sociology
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