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Throwing like a girl? Situating gender differences in physicality across game contexts
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies.
2003 (English)In: Childhood, ISSN 0907-5682, Vol. 10, no 4, 475-497 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores interaction in same-sex and cross-sex foursquare games, and, in particular, how throwing (and talk) are adjusted along with diverse configurations of players. The game was played among girls and boys with immigrant backgrounds (Syrian, Kurdish, Chilean) from low-income families in a multiethnic school setting in Sweden. The study investigates girls' physicality across various game contexts, finding that as the configuration of players shifts, the forms of bodily actions the girls invoke to construct social identities shift as well. The girls used slams - ways of throwing that require force and muscular strength, physical behaviour that is not conventionally seen as part of femininity. The same girls altered throwing (and language) style, 'throwing like a girl', to downplay physical skills with less skilled girls. In cross-sex games, the girls (and the boys) playfully mock challenged gender meanings such as boys' domination and girls' subordination. The fact that the girls studied here were not restricted in physicality (or spatiality) indicates that there is considerable variation in female physicality. Overall, the findings underscore that studies of girls' (and boys') physicality should be grounded in detailed analyses of interaction in specific game contexts, with attention to cultural and institutional frameworks embedded in the games.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 10, no 4, 475-497 p.
Keyword [en]
Contextual factors, Games, Gender, Physicality, Situated activities
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-46356DOI: 10.1177/0907568203104006OAI: diva2:267252
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-13

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Evaldsson, Ann-Carita
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Faculty of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Thematic Studies
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