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The riding school as a site for gender identity construction among Swedish teenage girls
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
Luleå tekniska universitet.
2011 (English)In: World Leisure Journal, ISSN 0441-9057, E-ISSN 1607-8055, Vol. 53, no 1, 42-56 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper is based on observations and interviews with six teenage girls (age 14–16) currently highly active in a Swedish riding school. Riding is one of the most popular sporting activities among girls in Sweden and riding schools receive financial support from the government to make riding available to everyone. The aim of this paper is to explore how teenage girls construct their gender identity at the stable through the handling of horses and related work in their leisure time. Theoretically, we employ Butler's (1999) theory of identity, based on social constructivism. The relationships with the horses, the hard work, the unexpected challenges, as well as the friendships among the girls, were found to be essential elements of the stable experience. At the stable, the girls learned to take action, handle risks and take the lead. This created an alternative way of enacting themselves as young females, resulting in an identity based on being independent, competent and powerful. As such, the riding school represents a developmental space where teenage girls can prepare themselves for their future, independent, lives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 53, no 1, 42-56 p.
Keyword [en]
Interdisciplinary research areas - Gender
Keyword [sv]
Fritidsvetenskap, Entreprenörskap, Tvärvetenskapliga forskningsområden - Genus
Research subject
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-9042DOI: 10.1080/04419057.2011.552218Local ID: 799ec516-66cc-45c2-8f44-cbbf5d1fdc68OAI: diva2:981980
Hästkrafter för entreprenörskap
Validerad; 2011; 20111014 (lenaf)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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