Bodies in Play: Physicality and Gender in College Women’s Ultimate Frisbee

By Joanna Neville.

Published by Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online February 18, 2016 $US5.00

This research examines how college women ultimate Frisbee players use their bodies, physicality, and athleticism in order to disrupt perceived masculine identities associated with sport. Although these players sometimes accomplish this unknowingly while playing the sport, they are still able to manipulate these identities within this space, creating ones that are full of competition, physicality, and athleticism but without a destructive hierarchy of power and dominance often found in traditional sport. My findings indicate a significant inclusivity of body types, a high level of physicality in a non-contact sport, and the use of their bodies in a positive manner. By doing so, college women ultimate Frisbee players are able to participate fully as athletes in the high-level, physically demanding sport of ultimate Frisbee. The data for this project comes from my ethnographic research, group interviews, and one-on-one interviews conducted while participating on a college women’s ultimate Frisbee team.

Keywords: Gender, Bodies, Qualitative Methods, Sport, Women, Frisbee

Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities, Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online February 18, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 451.389KB)).

Joanna Neville

PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology and Criminology and Law, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA