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(Dis)pleasurable boys' bodies materialising in PE
Linnéuniversitetet.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogisk idrottsforskning.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0638-7176
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Pleasure is often a key feature of school physical education (PE) and, indeed, a lot of students find pleasure in and through PE while others do not. However, pleasure is rarely considered to be of educational value in the subject. Further, since pleasure is linked to power it is in fact not entirely straightforward to legitimise the educational value of PE in relation to pleasure. In this paper, we will explore how a group of boys derive pleasures from their involvement in PE, but also how these power-induced pleasures are integral to gender normalisation processes. The paper draws on ethnographic data from a single-sex, boys’ secondary school in New Zealand involving 60 Year 10 (age 14-15) students. Using a visual ethnographic approach (Pink, 2007) consisting of observations and video recordings of boys participating in PE, the boys’ representations and interpretations of the visual data were explored during both focus groups and individual interviews. The data was analysed using (a visually oriented) discourse analysis (Foucault, 1980; Rose, 2007). By elucidating the discursive practices of PE in this setting and employing Butler’s (1993) concept of ‘materialisation’, we argue that boy’s bodies materialise as productive and pleasurable or displeasurable bodies through submitting/subjecting to certain bodily regimes, developing embodied mastery when it comes to certain sports, and displaying bodies in particular ways. The analysis indicates that the discursive practices of PE contribute to boys’ bodies materialising as pleasurable or dis-pleasurable and the (re)production of gender in the subject as shaped by discourse and the productive effect of power. We conclude that the focus on certain discursively constructed bodily practices at the same time continues to restrict the production of a diversity of bodily movement pleasures. Hence, traditional gender patterns are reproduced through a selection of particular sports/physical activities that all the students are expected to participate in. We propose that the ongoing constitution of privileged forms of masculinity, masculine bodies and masculine pleasures as related to fitness, health and sport and (certain) boys’ subsequent exercise of power in PE needs further critical examination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5042OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-5042DiVA: diva2:1145777
Conference
BERA (British Educational Research Association), Brighton, UK, 5-8/9 2017
Available from: 2017-09-29 Created: 2017-09-29 Last updated: 2017-09-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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