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Breaking down barriers: Women (re)producing athletic identity in old age
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

By focusing on retrospective and current narratives of athletically active old Swedish women, the article aims to explore whether and how they are able to form and reproduce a commitment to sport over time, and translate this commitment into resilient strategies in old age. By employing the theoretical frameworks of social identity and life course perspective, the results reveal that the women were able to form and maintain a commitment to sport, through (a) life course experiences of participating in sport, (b) life course experiences of identity clashes, and (c) continuous male support. Based on these experiences, the women developed empowered female aging athletic identities, which enabled them to construct resilient strategies to enable their participation in sport. By identifying themselves as strong and enduring rather than weak and frail, the women might also challenge gendered ageism.

Keyword [en]
Aging, gender, old female athletes, identity, life course
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-54021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-54021DiVA: diva2:515079
Projects
Welfare and Work in an Ageing Society
Funder
FAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research
Available from: 2012-04-13 Created: 2012-04-11 Last updated: 2012-04-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Growing old and still practising competitive sports: An exploration of acting-space and sense-making processes among old women and men
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Growing old and still practising competitive sports: An exploration of acting-space and sense-making processes among old women and men
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis explores how the way athletically active old men and women make sense of their acting-space affects their participation in competitive sports and conversely how their participation in competitive sports affect their sense-making process and acting-space. It puts emphasis on the sociological point of intersection of three different research fields; sports science, critical gerontology and gender studies. Concretely, it is inspired by grounded theory research design and based on interviews with twenty-two athletically active men and women over the age of 65. The thesis consists of four articles, and together these show that men and women experience certain constraints of acting-space in the context of competitive sports, which primarily seem to be related to norms of age and gender. At the same time, the thesis shows that by practising sports old adults, especially old women, are able to transgress these constraints and possibly challenge dominant constructions of age and gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2012. 42 p.
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid sociologiska institutionen, Umeå Universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; A68
Keyword
aging, sports, gender, acting-space, sense making, old athletes, the process of growing old
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-54034 (URN)978-91-7459-401-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-05-04, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Hörsal 1031, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-04-13 Created: 2012-04-12 Last updated: 2012-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Eman, Josefin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • en-US
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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