Conference Agenda

RN28_06: Identities in sports
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Przemyslaw Nosal, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan
Location: BS.1.25
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, First Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


“Better Than Men!”: A Feminist Research on Boxing

Nezihe Başak Ergin

Giresun University, Turkey

Wacquant (2012), in the (auto-)ethnographic study, “Body and Soul” in a boxing club in Chicago, discussed the limitations and possibilities of being both a researcher and a boxer. The aim of the paper is to explore why and how gender operates (Krueger & SaintOnge, 2005) within bodily and emotional experiences of boxing vis-à-vis challenges of this “wo- (Heiskanen, 2012) manly (Wacquant, 2012) art” in the “masculine space” (Wacquant, 2012) of the gyms located in two cities, namely Istanbul and Giresun in Turkey. The study will revisit the sociology of sport and “masculinities” based on feminist studies on boxing and gender (Mennesson, 2000; Lafferty & McKay, 2004; Heiskanen, 2012; Paradis, 2012; Trimbur, 2013; Tjønndal, 2016; Nash, 2017). As an (auto-) ethnographic research, I will focus on this embodied process (Woodward, 2008; Nash, 2017) of research/practice of boxing fitness through challenges of being both a feminist researcher and a woman who enters the ring/field. Conducting semi-structured interviews, the study aims to explore different and changing meanings of boxing –based on “dualisms” (Woodward, 2008)- considering comparisons with “men”, which reproduce masculinities (Kimmel, 2005; Connell, 2016; Nash, 2017) and stereotypes about inclusion/exclusion of women.

Keywords: gender, bodily and emotional experiences of boxing, wo-manly art, (auto-)ethnography, Turkey

Jewish identity of football fans: a comparative study of Ajax Amsterdam and Tottenham London supporters.

Bogna Wilczyńska

Jagiellonian University, Poland

Football has become a very important tool in the process of social identity construction and maintenance. In many cases, a fan’s affiliation with a particular club represents the combination of a number of specific social, political and religious attributes. This phenomenon takes numerus local variations. In this paper I will analyse the cases of Tottenham London and Ajax Amsterdam supporters who refer to themselves as „Jews” and use various symbols and contents that are traditionally seen as Jewish, even if their clubs have never been Jewish organizations. The objective of this paper is to describe and explain the main characteristics of what I refer to as “Jewish identity” of the fans. It is an on-going project as part of which field research was performed in the autumn of 2017 and 2018 in London and Amsterdam. The research was based on sociological and anthropological qualitative methods, mainly in-depth interviews with the fans and participant observation in the stadiums during Tottenham and Ajax games. The analysis and interpretation of the collected research material will allow me to answer the questions of “how”, “why” and “what” happens in the stadiums (and outside of the stadiums) of those two teams in the context of the “Jewish identity” of their fans, and what kind of anti-Semitic content is used by the fans of their football opponents. Of key importance will be to explain the motivation the fans have for developing this specific identity.

Stigma, Health and Physically (In)active Bodies

Emma Seal, Matthew Nicholson, Erica Randle, Arthur Stukas, Paul O'Halloran

La Trobe University, Australia

The focus of this presentation is the experiences of currently physically ‘inactive’ women and the micro-level, stigmatising processes that inhibit their engagement with, and experience of, physical activity. The research is situated at the nexus of physical activity, health promotion and associated exercise is medicine discourses. The current Australian government health agenda is strongly informed by neoliberal economic imperatives to reduce the burden of disease that ‘unhealthy’ lifestyles generate and the potential loss of productivity they cause. Consequently, individuals are urged to take up responsibility for their own conduct in line with cultural norms, market forces and advanced liberal governments. The framing of health in this way leads to a focus of resources on fostering individual behaviour change, rather than attempting to examine the socio-cultural determinants of health (and physical inactivity).

The research draws from recent reconceptualisations of stigma (e.g. Tyler and Slater, 2018), which focus on unpacking how stigma functions as a form of power. Women experience stigma in relation to their physically (in)active bodies in a variety of ways, which often operates as an inhibiting mechanism that forces disengagement from physical activity and negative emotional impacts. The research is significant for presenting and exploring women’s day-to-day contestations with physical inactivity, via the lens of stigma, to trace the wider socio-cultural processes that produce these experiences. This is a timely contribution to the growing body of literature that expresses the need to move away from individual health behaviour interventions (Holman, Lynch & Reeves, 2018) and to consider more fully the structured and contextual aspects of behaviour and health.

Football Fans And The Gentrification Of Stadiums: The Case Of Turkey

Rahsan Inal1, Mehmet Sahin2

1Erzincan Binali Yıldırım University, Turkey; 2European University of Lefke, Northern Cyprus

As one of the various consequences of the spatial division of capital, gentrification is a relatively new process in Turkey. It has started in 1990s in megacity Istanbul and has become more visible since2000s. It must be noted that not only moving stadiums to the places far away from down town but also renovating of some are regarded as gentrification in this study. Also, classification of sports fans resulted from gentrification is remarkable. Sports club administrators who welcome new customers instead of fans of the past into their stadiums can be defined as symbols of the commercialisation of collective memories. Indeed, stadiums are collective memory places shaping the emotional and historical connections of the fans that Gentrification destroys this collective memory which has been accumulated for years and replaces them with new memories.

Study discusses the process and consequences of gentrification of stadiums through examination of two samples in Istanbul. Study intends to analyze the issue theoretically through descriptive analysis method; by using the newspapers, the content on the official web pages of football fan groups and football clubs and especially the chat pages of these web sites where fans can write their own ideas.

Then it concludes that both indoor and outdoor gentrification processes of stadiums built a new spatial barrier for fans that these barriers may have both been surpassed and led reactions among them in opposite directions against commercialisation of sports and destruction of stadiums’ collective memories time to time.