Women's recreational surfing: a patronising experience

Olive, Rebecca, McCuaig, Louise and Phillips, Murray G. (2015) Women's recreational surfing: a patronising experience. Sport Education and Society, 20 2: 258-276. doi:10.1080/13573322.2012.754752

Author Olive, Rebecca
McCuaig, Louise
Phillips, Murray G.
Title Women's recreational surfing: a patronising experience
Journal name Sport Education and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1357-3322
Publication date 2015
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13573322.2012.754752
Open Access Status
Volume 20
Issue 2
Start page 258
End page 276
Total pages 20
Place of publication Abingdon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Research analysing the operation of power within sport and physical activity has exposed the marginalisation and exclusion of women's sport in explicit and institutionalised ways. However, for women in recreational and alternative physical activities like surfing, sporting experiences lie outside institutionalised structures, thus requiring alternative surfing of conceptualising the processes of exclusionary power. In this paper, we focus on the voices of women recreational surfers to explore the changes which may or may not be occurring at smaller, more localised levels of women's engagement with surfing culture. An ethnographic methodology was employed to ask women how and why they engage in surfing and what it means for them, rather than asking questions based on existing assumptions. In presenting the data we draw upon the double meaning afforded by the term ‘to patronise’ as a means of framing the complex ways that women continue to be differentiated in surfing culture, and the ways they respond to this. In the final section, we employ a Foucauldian analytic lens to explore the subtle normalising practices in which women are incited to recognise and undertake the practices of the valued masculine ideal of the ‘good surfer’ through caring acts and advice offered by male surfers. This post-structuralist perspective offers space to think outside of simple resistance and reproduction, instead considering a complex space where women and men negotiate power in a range of ways from contextual, subjective positions. In conclusion, we argue that women recreational surfers are enacting alternative ways of operating within the power relations that circulate in the waves, creating ever-changing spaces for new ways of doing and knowing surfing to emerge.
Keyword Foucault
Physical culture
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 9 January 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 15 Feb 2013, 16:46:23 EST by Dr Louise Mccuaig on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences