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South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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Athena Nike was geen Suid-Afrikaanse godin nie : die mite en realiteit van geslagsgelyke sport

C. Burnett

Abstract


The myth and reality of women's positioning in elite sport poses unique challenges to feminist enquiry and feminists' actions for change. The aim of this paper is to meet this challenge by offering an overview of feminist paradigms and praxis as they relate to South African elite sporting practices and underlying issues. By utilizing different feminist frameworks and practices such as the liberal, radical, socialist and post-modern paradigms, the differential reality of women's oppression in competitive sport is discussed. The marginalization of women and 'their sport' is discussed against the backdrop of poverty, capitalist market realities, patriarchal structures, hegemonic ideology, socialization practices, biased media coverage and unequal funding. Other categories of oppression such as class and race interplay to illuminate a diverse and unequal picture of such marginalization. The tentative nature of this paper serves to contextualize and explore the possibilities of feminist understanding and direct praxis in addressing South African women's quest for equality in the sphere of competitive sport.


(S. African J. for Research in Sport, Physical Ed. and Recreation: 2001 23 (2): 7-22)



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