The Anachronistic Sport-Gender Imbalance: the glass escalator or, Beyond the glass ceiling

Scientific publication - Conference Short Paper uoadl:2775389 610 Read counter

Unit:
Library and Information Center
Title:
The Anachronistic Sport-Gender Imbalance: the glass escalator or, Beyond the glass ceiling
Languages of Item:
English
Abstract:
We’ve come a long way since the 1952 Helsinki Games, where women represented
only 10 percent of the Olympic athletes. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing women
represented approximately 43 percent of the total athlete delegation, up from 41
percent in the Athens 2004 Olympics. However, the “glass escalator” (Kamberidou
2009; Williams 1992, 1995) is not yet gender inclusive since women are exceedingly
under-represented in all sport governing bodies (SGBs), primarily in the executive
bodies of national and international sport organizations and institutions, such as the
IOC. Researchers argue that men ride up the “glass escalator” when they enter
predominantly female professions, as opposed to women who confront the glass
ceiling and the “sticky floor” (Kimmel 2004) when they enter predominantly male
professions. Taking their gender privilege with them, men experience positive
discrimination (the glass escalator) when they enter female dominated social spheres,
in other words they are socialized, encouraged, supported and promoted up the ladder
even faster than their female counterparts. The first part of this study examines to
what extent gender personification, the structurally secured and enforced gender
segregation system continues-extends beyond the competitive sport expression,
defeating the advocated values of social equity. In exploring the interrelation of social
theories, anachronistic biologistic approaches and gender-based ideologies that
established gender stereotypes and gender segregation in competitive sports, this
paper renegotiates sport identity and corporeality in ways that reflect the processes of
change in the construction of new sport identities: e.g. gender fluidity, men’s
participation in women’s sports, respect for diversity, normalizing bodies and
identities, bionic athletes, ‘naturality’ versus artificiality, emerging technologies used
to enhance performance in competitive sports. (Miah 2005, et al.)
Current discussions on the gender subject, no longer focus exclusively on the
biological gender (sex), as an analytical category, but on the social gender (Kimmel
2004, McNay 2000) which formulates, defines and redefines identity, according to
evolving socio-cultural interpretations. In the new theoretical framework, gender
identity and corporeality are being rediscovered and are under reconstruction, namely
viewed as linguistic conceptions, socio-cultural manifestations, transformable
meanings and evolving elements of change. Such an example is men’s participation in
rhythmic gymnastics (Tsopani et al. 2006, Kamberidou, Tsopani, Dallas, Patsantaras
2009), despite gender stereotypes that depict the sport as unacceptable for the image
of masculinity, including the male body aesthetic. In light of the growing participation
of men in the competitive sport of rhythmic gymnastics—on national and
international levels— in Japan, Australia, Canada, the US, Russia, Greece and Italy... ...
Publication year:
2009
Authors:
Irene Kamberidou
Publisher:
International Association for Physical Education and Sport for Girls
Conference title:
16th IAPESGW World Congress: Practice and Research in Physical Education and Sport in the spirit of Ubuntu, Stellenbosch, South Africa 16 - 19 July, 2009
Pages:
1-5
Keywords:
Gender neutral, gender inclusive, gender segregation, genetic personification, the glass escalator, the sticky floor, tokenism, sport identity, corporeality
Main subject category:
Social, Political and Economic sciences
Project information:
Kamberidou, Irene (2009). “The Anachronistic Sport-Gender Imbalance: the glass escalator or, Beyond the glass
ceiling”. In proceedings (pp. 97-100) of the 16th IAPESGW World Congress: Practice and Research in Physical
Education and Sport in the spirit of Ubuntu, Stellenbosch, South Africa 16 - 19 July, 2009. Congress organized by the
International Association for Physical Education and Sport for Girls (IAPESGW), in collaboration with the
Department of Sport Sciences, University of Stellenbosch and the Department of Biokinetics, Sport and Leisure
Sciences, University of Pretoria, with patronage by ICSSPE (Abstract ID 2332).
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