Body classification in sport: a collaborative autoethnography of two female athletes
McMahon, J, Franklin, R & McGannon, KR 2016, 'Body classification in sport: a collaborative autoethnography of two female athletes ', Psychology of Women Section Review, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 48-58.
Two female athletes’ embodied experiences in two different aquatic nature based sports are explored using collaborative autoethnography in conjunction with Foucault’s theory of the body as a site of discipline. The first section of this paper provides an overview of literature addressing body practices occurring in sport as a means of better contextualising how sporting sites have come to privilege female athletes’ bodies that are ‘fatless’, ‘fit’, ‘idealised’ and ‘feminine’ over those who did not meet such body standards. In the second part of the paper, collaborative autoethnography is used as a means of presenting and analysing two female athletes’ embodied experiences in aquatic nature based sport. The two female athletes’ stories reveal how their bodies were ‘classified’ according to the idealised female athletic body shape for their specific sport. The two female athletes’ stories also revealed that as a result of their bodies being classified in the sporting context, a fractured body-self relationship resulted.