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Glitch i Idrottslandet: en kritiskkreativ undersökning av queeranden inom svensk idrott(svetenskap)
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogisk idrottsforskning.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0763-2580
2019 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Glitching sport (science) : a criticalcreative inquiry of queerings in Swedish sport (science) (English)
Abstract [en]

The dominant story in critical sports research is that sport is characterised by heteronormativity and hegemonic masculinity norms. These norms are manifested in sexism, homophobia, homonegativity and racism which affect all athletes, regardless of identity. Although important, this is a story that risks reinforcing ideas of how all sport “is”. The thesis is a response to calls from feminist theorists and sport researchers who argue that we need to move away from a logic of negativity built into critical theory and instead put our analytical tools to the task of constructing alternative possible scenarios. The aim of the thesis is to explore what some major strands within contemporary feminist theory can accomplish in relation to dominating stories about gender, sexuality and scientific knowledge production in sport research. More specifically, I explore how the concepts of figuration and intra-action can open up for other possible sport (science) worlds.

The thesis consists of a frame-story and four articles, which in turn are based on three substudies. In the first substudy I interviewed boys and men who engage with horses and in horse riding. By engaging in a sport, equestrianism, that in Sweden is dominated by girls/women and female coded, they transgress and challenge – glitch – ideas of how Real sports boys/men should be, live and act. The interview stories from this study are enacted in various ways in article I and IV. In the second substudy I interviewed elite athletes with experiences of living non-straight and who in that way glitch heteronormativity in sports (sometimes also homonormativity). These stories make up the heart of the figurations presented in article II. In the third substudy, I explored athletic bodies that, due to intersex variations, glitch the idea that the only way of being a body (in sport) is to be male or female. This analysis is presented in article III.

The thesis is populated by horseguys who challenge stereotypical masculinity norms, sporting contexts that turn heteronormativity up-side-down and inside-out, athletic bodies that implode binary gender and a researcher I glitching a scientific (writing) genre. The figurations presented in the thesis open up for queering elsewheres, where engaging in sport can serve as a condition of possibility for same-sex attractions/relations and non-normative ways of being a boy/man, and where creative writing – in the form of fiction, poetry and genre mixing – can be used as a method of inquiry.

Through the concept of intra-action, the thesis also makes visible that “matter matters”. Firstly, I show how engaging materially with horses allow and encourage boys/men to be less constrained by dominant gender norms – in other words, that human-horse relations are entangled with, and affect, boys’ and men’s doing of gender. Secondly, I make visible how athletic bodies “strike back” in relation to ideas of binary gender, glitching a dominant medico-scientific story (in sport) telling us that the only way of being a body is to be male or female. Thirdly, I enact – in form and content – how the researcher is always already entangled in scientific knowledge production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH , 2019. , p. 107
Series
Avhandlingsserie för Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan ; 16
Keywords [en]
sport, gender, sex, heteronormativity, queer, glitch, figuration, intra-activity, feminist posthumanism, creative analytical writing, equestrianism, intersex
Keywords [sv]
idrott, könsnormer, heteronormativitet, queera, glitch, figuration, intra-aktion, feministisk posthumanism, kreativt analytisk skrivande, ridsport, intersex
National Category
Gender Studies Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5907ISBN: 978-91-983151-7-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-5907DiVA, id: diva2:1369156
Public defence
2019-12-13, Aulan, Lidingövägen 1, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-11 Created: 2019-11-11 Last updated: 2019-12-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. (Re)presenting equestrian histories—storytelling as a method of inquiry.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>(Re)presenting equestrian histories—storytelling as a method of inquiry.
2016 (English)In: Sport, Education and Society, ISSN 1357-3322, E-ISSN 1470-1243, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 82-95Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Responding to calls about the need to ‘give voice’ to groups previously marginalized in research and to challenge meta-narratives about men in sports this paper explores the use of a narrative approach to illuminate men's experiences—and the doing of gender—within equestrian sports, a sport dominated by women in Sweden. Adopting the position of a storyteller three literary short-stories were constructed from interviews with men active in equestrianism. (Re)presenting research findings in this way evoke a lot of questions in academic circles. We have often been askedhowthe stories were constructed and how one judges whether they are representative and trustworthy. These are legitimate questions, no doubt. But questions that are of importance to all qualitative research. It is as if the writing of stories is some kind of mysterious abracadabra activity and not a deliberate and theoretically informed creative process. While reading critique of narrative ways to (re)present research findings, where some researchers suggest that narrative inquiry is a retreat from the difficult academic work of generating new and important ideas, our assumption is that it stems from this misunderstanding about story writing. And maybe the construction of stories has not been given enough attention in narrative research. The purpose of this article is therefore to illustrate the difficult but inspiring activity of transforming 19 interviews into literary short-stories and to highlight methodological concerns relating to presenting these stories. We also demonstrate that creative analytical writing is not just a way of presenting research findings but also a method of inquiry. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]

Keywords
Creative writing, Equestrian sports, Gender, Men, Narrative inquiry, Short-stories, Storytelling
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4274 (URN)10.1080/13573322.2015.1061985 (DOI)000366668100007 ()
Available from: 2015-12-21 Created: 2015-12-21 Last updated: 2019-11-11Bibliographically approved
2. Figuring More Livable Elsewheres: Queering Acts, Moments, and Spaces in Sport (Studies)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Figuring More Livable Elsewheres: Queering Acts, Moments, and Spaces in Sport (Studies)
2017 (English)In: Journal of Sport and Social Issues, ISSN 0193-7235, E-ISSN 1552-7638, Vol. 41, no 4, p. 290-306Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Inspired by calls for an emphasis on the "potentiality of the present" in feminist and queer (sport) studies, this article explores queering acts, moments, and spaces in stories of athletes living nonstraight. To do this, we use Haraway's and Braidotti's notion of figuration and creative analytical writing. With one foot rooted in what is, our three figurations of the queering athlete take us into and beyond heteronormativity to what can be(come). Two figurations enact how sex segregation and gender norms in sports can serve as conditions of possibilities that open up for other-worlds-in-the-making and the third works sexuality against identity and queers the hetero–homo binary. They are figurations—in form and content—of a "science of the possibility of science."

National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4927 (URN)10.1177/0193723517707700 (DOI)000404878400002 ()
Available from: 2017-06-26 Created: 2017-06-26 Last updated: 2019-11-11Bibliographically approved
3. The promise of glitching bodies in sport: a posthumanist exploration of an intersex phenomenon
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The promise of glitching bodies in sport: a posthumanist exploration of an intersex phenomenon
2018 (English)In: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, ISSN 2159-676X, E-ISSN 2159-6778, Vol. 10, no 5, p. 570-584Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper is about glitching bodies - bodies that break, crash and confuse the conventions of pre-programmed and binary gender patterns. Exploring the promise of an intersex phenomenon; hyperandrogenism in women's sport, I discuss how glitching bodies and a feminist posthumanist understanding of gender can contribute to the field of gender and queer sport studies. Responding to calls for research enacting how non-binary bodies challenge the dualistic gendered ontologies that have structured the performative practices of sport in highly exclusive ways this paper is a travelogue into a messy nature-cultural phenomenon. It is partly a theoretical and methodological exploration and partly an analytic endeavour. The phenomenon of hyperandrogenism is explored and untangled by engaging in a diffractive analysis where I 'plug in' the concepts of intra-activity and glitch. I argue that a feminist posthumanist understanding of gender and diffraction as a methodological practice helps us move away from habitual and normative readings that zero in on either male or female, either nature or culture and either material or discursive. This implosion of binaries in turn opens up for alternative ways of thinking and being bodies in sport (studies).

Keywords
hyperandrogenism, intersex, posthumanism, post-qualitative inquiry, glitch, intra-activity, gender
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5375 (URN)10.1080/2159676X.2018.1479980 (DOI)000440516600004 ()
Available from: 2018-08-17 Created: 2018-08-17 Last updated: 2019-11-11Bibliographically approved
4. Becoming horseboy(s) - human-horse relations and intersectionality in equiscapes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Becoming horseboy(s) - human-horse relations and intersectionality in equiscapes
2019 (English)In: Leisure Studies, ISSN 0261-4367, E-ISSN 1466-4496, Vol. 38, no 3, p. 408-421Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Leisure studies have given scant regard to human-animal relations and intersectionality. In this paper, I respond to calls for research analysing leisure as a complex, multispecies phenomenon by exploring human-horse relations and intersectionality in boy's/men's equestrian stories through the concept of intra-activity and creative analytical writing. Thinking and writing through intra-activity brings insights into the co-constitution of humans and horses, as well as the entanglement of other power relations and social categories. The paper illustrates that becoming horseboy(s) is a process of material-discursive intra-activity where boys/men, by transcending the human-animal divide simultaneously transcend the female-male/masculine-feminine divide. Thus, engaging materially with horses can allow and encourage boys/men to be less constrained by dominant gender discourses. The paper also illustrates the importance of studying gender, not as a separate or primary category of privilege or inequality, but as one that is entangled with race, class, sexuality, age and other animals. I finally argue that bringing horses, as well as discourses, into discussions of the enactment of gender in leisure landscapes offers a productive site for elaborating the much-debated question, posed by feminist posthumanists, of the agency of matter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019
Keywords
Human-horse relations, gender, intersectionality, intra-activity, equestrian sports, creative analytical writing
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5747 (URN)10.1080/02614367.2019.1584230 (DOI)000466286400001 ()
Available from: 2019-05-20 Created: 2019-05-20 Last updated: 2019-11-11

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