A Feminist Poststructuralist View on Student Bodies in Physical Education: Sites of Compliance, Resistance, and Transformation

Azzarito, Laura; Solmon, Melinda A.
April 2006
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education;Apr2006, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p200
Academic Journal
The study of the social construction of the body has become crucial to contemporary academic discourses in education and physical education. Employing feminist poststructuralist theory and a qualitative ethnographic design, this study investigated how high school students identified themselves with images of bodies drawn from fitness and sports magazines, and how their body narratives were linked to their participation in physical education. Students' body narratives reflected notions of comfortable, bad, and borderland bodies that influenced students' physical activity choices and engagement in physical education. Girls' narratives of their physicality were found to be significantly less comfortable than boys'. Critical pedagogy to destabilize gendered dominant discourses of mass media body culture and to develop positive, meaningful, and empowering student physicality is discussed.


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