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Power, regulation and physically active identities : the experiences of rural and regional living adolescent girls

Casey, M., Mooney, A., Smyth, J. and Payne, W. 2016, Power, regulation and physically active identities : the experiences of rural and regional living adolescent girls, Gender and education, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 108-127, doi: 10.1080/09540253.2015.1093098.

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Title Power, regulation and physically active identities : the experiences of rural and regional living adolescent girls
Author(s) Casey, M.
Mooney, A.ORCID iD for Mooney, A.
Smyth, J.
Payne, W.
Journal name Gender and education
Volume number 28
Issue number 1
Start page 108
End page 127
Total pages 20
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 0954-0253
Keyword(s) Gender
Physical education
Physical activity
Power relations
Techniques of power
Social Sciences
Education & Educational Research
Summary Drawing on interpretations of Foucault's techniques of power, we explored the discourses and power relations operative between groups of girls that appeared to influence their participation in Physical Education (PE) and outside of school in sport and physical activity (PA) in rural and regional communities. Interviews and focus groups were conducted in eight secondary schools with female students from Year 9 (n = 22) and 10 (n = 116). Dominant gendered and performance discourses were active in shaping girls’ construction of what it means to be active or ‘sporty’, and these identity positions were normalised and valued. The perceived and real threat of their peer's gaze as a form of surveillance acted to further perpetuate the power of performance discourses; whereby girls measured and (self) regulated their participation. Community settings were normalised as being exclusively for skilled performers and girls self-regulated their non-participation according to judgements made about their own physical abilities. These findings raise questions about the ways in which power relations, as forged in broader sociocultural and institutional discourse–power relations, can infiltrate the level of the PE classroom to regulate and normalise practices in relation to their, and others, PA participation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09540253.2015.1093098
Field of Research 130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education
1303 Specialist Studies In Education
1608 Sociology
Socio Economic Objective 939904 Gender Aspects of Education
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Grant ID LP0990206
Copyright notice ©2015, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Education
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