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On the Limits of "Gaie" Spaces: Discursive Constructions of Women's Sport in Quebec


On the Limits of "Gaie" Spaces: Discursive Constructions of Women's Sport in Quebec

Ravel, Barbara and Rail, Geneviève (2007) On the Limits of "Gaie" Spaces: Discursive Constructions of Women's Sport in Quebec. Sociology of Sport Journal, 24 (4). pp. 402-420. ISSN 0741-1235

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Several studies on the experiences of nonheterosexual women in sport have highlighted the development of lesbian subcultures in sport, while others have emphasized the scarcity of athletic contexts embracing sexual diversity. This article explores the narratives of 14 young Francophone sportswomen positioning themselves as "gaie," lesbian, bisexual, or refusing labels altogether. Using a feminist poststructuralist perspective, we examine their discursive constructions of sport and argue that the discourses articulated in sport allow for the creation of a space of resistance to heteronormativity. We suggest that the sport space is constructed as a "gaie" space within which a normalizing version of lesbian sexuality is proposed. We investigate how in/ex/clusion discourses are inscribed in space and how subjects are impacted by and, in turn, impact these discourses.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Simone de Beauvoir Institute
Item Type:Article
Authors:Ravel, Barbara and Rail, Geneviève
Journal or Publication:Sociology of Sport Journal
Date:December 2007
Keywords:gay, athletes, physical education
ID Code:6337
Deposited On:10 Sep 2009 19:12
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:28
Additional Information:Abstract in French -- Plusieurs études sur les expériences des femmes non-hétérosexuelles en sport ont souligné le développement des sous-cultures lesbiennes en sport, alors que d'autres ont mis l'accent sur la rareté des contextes sportifs embrassant la diversité sexuelle. Cet article explore les récits de 14 jeunes sportives francophones s'identifiant en tant que gaies, lesbiennes, bisexuelles ou refusant toute étiquette. A partir d'une perspective poststructuraliste féministe, nous examinons leurs constructions discursives du sport et suggérons que les discours circulés dans ce sport permettent la création d'un espace de résistance à l'hétéronormativité. Nous suggérons également que l'espace sportif est construit en tant qu'entité « gaie » au sein de laquelle une version normalisée de la sexualité lesbienne est proposée. Enfin, nous investiguons comment les discours d'inclusion et d'exclusion sont inscrits dans cet espace, comment ils influent sur les sujets et comment les sujets, à leur tour, influent sur ces discours.
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