Keeping abreast of gendering practices in health and physical education and physical culture: breastwork, breastism and breast pedagogies for (de)gender justice

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    At an embodied and personal level this paper plays with what Evans, J., & Davies, B. (2011. New directions, new questions? Social theory, education and embodiment. Sport, Education & Society, 16(3), 263–278) suggests are ‘the complexity and nuances of biology in culture and the influence of body pedagogies in the production of social inequalities and hierarchies.’ (p. 263). Despite extensive attention to gender order, sexualization, sexual subjectification, sexual and gender representation in physical culture (sport, active lifestyles and health and physical education), research/scholarship has paid little attention to the positioning of and constitution of practices by body parts, such as breasts specifically. Given that gendered cultural pedagogies teach humans how to understand their selves, physical culture has potentially extensive affordances for learning the self. Drawing on narrative inquiry and content analysis, six diverse participants’ breastories are examined for breast pedagogies and how the materiality of breasts constructs and position humans and their gendered representations in physical culture. This paper suggests the recognition of breastism and employment of breastwork to work towards gender justice and dismantling some of the oppressions of gender. While others argue that productions of the gendered body lead to discipline and control of body parts, actions, and gender presentation, I consider instead the material and symbolic role of body parts, their actions and the gendered construction of those parts and how these gendered constructions act to discipline and control body pedagogies and engagement for more equitable futures in physical cultures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)664-680
    Number of pages17
    JournalSport, Education and Society
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • active lifestyle
    • Breast
    • breast pedagogies
    • gender
    • health education
    • intersex
    • physical education and health and physical education
    • sex
    • sexuality

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