Cooky+_+McDonald+2005+If+You+Let+Me+Play

Cooky+_+McDonald+2005+If+You+Let+Me+Play - Sociology of...

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158 Sociology of Sport Journal , 2005 , 22 , 158-177 © 2005 Human Kinetics, Inc. “If You Let Me Play”: Young Girls’ Insider-Other Narratives of Sport Cheryl Cooky and Mary G. McDonald In this article we explore the narratives that 10 White, middle-class female athletes, ages 11–14, (co)produce around their sport experiences. Through interviews, observation, and participant observation, we argue that, consistent with the advertising rhetoric of such mul- tinational corporations as Nike, these girls all advocate hard work, choice, opportunity, and personal responsibility in playing sport and in challenging gender discrimination. We argue this reflects the girls’ subscription to elements of liberal feminism and to their frequent positioning as “insider-others”—that is, outside the dominant gender norms of sport but simultaneously the beneficiaries of Whiteness and middle-class norms. In contrast to Nike and liberal feminists who frequently argue for equal opportunity in sport, these girls’ insider-other narratives suggest the need for critical interrogation of the multiple meanings and effects of sport experiences. Dans cet article, nous explorons les récits des expériences sportives de 10 athlètes féminines blanches de classe moyenne ayant entre 11 et 14 ans. Par le biais d’entrevues, d’observations et de l’observation participante, nous suggérons qu’en accord avec la rhétorique publicitaire des entreprises multinationales comme Nike, ces filles prônent le dur labeur, le choix, la présence d’occasions et la responsabilité individuelle en ce qui a trait à la participation sportive et la lutte à la discrimination des femmes. Nous avançons que ceci reflète l’adhérence des filles à des éléments du féminisme libéral et leur positionnement fréquent en tant que personnes en dehors des normes sexuées en sport mais simultanément en tant que personnes avantagées par les normes blanches de la classe moyenne. Contrairement à Nike et aux féministes libérales qui demandent des occasions égales en sport, les récits de ces jeunes athlètes suggèrent la nécessité d’examiner de façon critique les significations et effets mul- tiples des expériences sportives. In popular culture female athletes who are portrayed as “just doing it” are often romanticized as the new representatives for the girl-power movement. Female athletes such as Brandi Chastain, whose sports-bra-clad body was fea- tured on the cover of Newsweek after the 1999 USA Women’s soccer team won the World Cup with the announcement that “Girls Rule!,” are held up for girls and young women as role models of female strength and assertiveness. Narra- tives of girl power circulate and compete for salience with other popular-culture images in asserting what it means to be a (White) woman and just what exactly to and capitalized on these discourses in a number of ways, for example, in their
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Cooky+_+McDonald+2005+If+You+Let+Me+Play - Sociology of...

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