'You must hit your mother!': re-evaluating gendered family structures through shared karate practice

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationpeer-review

Abstract

Both sport and the family have been sociologically reflected on as key institutions in reproducing ideas of male dominance and of men's (hierarchical) distinction from women. Indeed they are deemed to be highly gendered spheres with distinct roles for women and men within. Karate is a sport often associated with men and masculinity due to it's combative practice, however, in practice is an arena where women, men, and families often train together.Through it's mixed sex, and often mixed-age practice, the conventional power dynamics embodied between family members are shaken as mother's correct partners techniques, daughters out-punch their brothers, and children are asked to hit their parents. As such, in the close-spaced, fast-paced, sweaty body-to-body exchanges of kicks, punches, and throws, how do families participating in karate together negotiate 'doing family' and 'doing gender' within such a field?
This paper argues that the vast presence of karate families both reinforces karate practice with a patriarchal gendered framework which karate practitioners draw on to understand their mixed-sex, mixed-age relations; and challenges conventional ways of doing gender by enabling women's participation in a conventionally masculine practice, and their subsequent capacity to out-perform their male family members.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2017
EventThe European Association for Sociology of Sport Annual Conference 2017: The Values of Sport: Between Tradition and (Post)Modernity - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 14 Jun 201717 Jun 2017
http://www.eass-sportsociology.eu/conferences/

Conference

ConferenceThe European Association for Sociology of Sport Annual Conference 2017
CountryCzech Republic
CityPrague
Period14/06/1717/06/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • combat sports
  • gender differences
  • masculinity
  • femininity

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