Multiple Identities in a Marginalized Culture Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • This article is a theoretical and empirical examination of female youth culture in recreation/drop-in centers. The authors attempt to integrate theories of female participation in leisure and sport with more mainstream perspectives on female youth subcultures. A gender-sensitive, cultural studies-based perspective emerges, underscored by a (Chicago-style) symbolic interactionist approach to understanding social process. Research findings from an ethnographic study of female youth in one such center in southern Ontario, Canada, are presented, with particular attention to how the various beliefs, behaviors, and customs that characterized female youth culture in the center were created, maintained, and referred to as the basis for interaction. The study findings showed that experiences within the center, although generally positive, were varied and extremely gendered, with female youth marginalized in the informal, male-dominated sport culture. Moreover, the findings revealed that among these youth, there existed simultaneously a resistance to broader, gender-and class-based limitations on sport participation and a reproduction of informal power structures. The relevance of these findings to theoretical understandings of female youth culture and youth-centered organizations and to practical and strategic approaches to programming for “at-risk” female youth are assessed, and suggestions for future research in this sparse area are provided.

publication date

  • August 2001