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Title: Girls looking for a ‘second home’: bodies, difference and places of inclusion
Authors: Azzarito, Laura
Hill, Joanne L.
Keywords: Difference
Visual methods
Physical education
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Routledge (© Association for Physical Education)
Citation: AZZARITO, L. and HILL, J.L., 2012. Girls looking for a ‘second home’: bodies, difference and places of inclusion. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 2012, 1, iFirst, 25pp.
Abstract: Background: Young people's health status and level of physical activity participation are pressing issues in many Western countries, yet social, economic, and educational inequalities in local spaces remain under-theorized. In the USA and the UK, ethnic-minority girls have been identified as the least physically active and as having the worst health status among young people, ‘bodies-at-risk.’ Researching embodiment in school is of particular importance, as it can highlight how girls, as moving bodies, are constrained and/or in transition across spaces of learning. Purpose: This visual ethnographic research aimed to further understandings of ethnic-minority girls' emplaced embodiment by investigating the link between girls' physicality and their views of physical activity spaces in their communities. Participants and setting: The research was conducted in a school located in an urban multicultural context in the Midlands region of the UK. Participants were 20 girls (19 ethnic-minority girls; 1 white girl) aged 14–15 from two single-sex physical education classes. Data collection: The researchers collected data from multiple sources: field notes, visual diaries, and multiple interviews. After field observations, each participant received a digital camera for a 2-week period, and was asked to construct a ‘photo-diary’ to document and reflect upon the school and community spaces relevant to her physicality. To enhance the clarity and validity of the visual diary and the written instructions, a pilot study was conducted with four non-participants, aged 14–15. Data analysis: A visually oriented discourse analysis of all the different sources of visual and verbal data collected was conducted to understand how the girls constructed spaces in which they displayed their moving bodies, and how these geographies linked to their body experiences. Findings: The girls' reflections on their visual diaries suggest that their active body-selves tend to take shape in spaces ‘like home’ that were ‘social,’ friend-, and family-oriented, but also intimate and shielded spaces where they could invent themselves and craft their bodies in sport-oriented, virtual landscapes. Findings reported in this paper are organized into three major sections: (1) ‘My home’: safe, supportive, and contested spaces; (2) Breaking gendered boundaries of male-dominated spaces; and (3) The imaginative space of home and the reality of Nintendo Wii: a space of sport for girls to become who they want to be. The study raises questions about the extent to which these girls' geographies of their moving bodies expressed and enclosed within ‘homely’ spaces are symptomatic of social and institutional barriers, and considers the implications for physical activity spaces.
Description: This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in the Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy [Routledge (© Association for Physical Education)], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17408989.2012.666792
Version: Submitted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2012.666792
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/11724
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2012.666792
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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