603.5 Sport, leisure and women's in(ex)clusion: Reflections from a land where (almost) all the guys play soccer…

Friday, August 3, 2012: 3:10 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Miriam ADELMAN , Professor of Social Sciences, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil
SPORT, LEISURE AND WOMEN’S IN(ex)CLUSION:  Reflections from a land where (almost) all the guys play soccer…

On a typical Sunday morning in the largely poor and working class outskirts of a Brazilian state capital,  Curitiba, men and boys are at play in the (often but not always improvised) soccer fields that dot the neighborhoods, but where are the women?  Fifteen years of research on Brazilian equestrian sports enable me to identify this particular sporting field as one in which not only middle class but also – and perhaps increasingly – women from poor and working class backgrounds are able to carve a unique place for themselves, a new position from which to challenge longstanding notions of what a “female person” can/should be/do.  In this paper, I discuss young women’s participation in rodeo (calf-roping and reining) competitions and how this may be contributing to forms of empowerment, even within the semi-rural settings to which sociological literature has not customarily  looked, in its search for sites in which  ideologies and practices of male dominance are being challenged.