Kavoura, A., Ryba, T.V., Chroni, S.
Negotiating female judoka identities in Greece: A Foucauldian discourse analysis
(2015) Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 17, pp. 88-98.
Objectives: The objectives of this paper are to trace the discourses through which female Greek judokas articulate their sporting experiences and to explore how they construct their identities through the negotiation of sociocultural beliefs and gender stereotypes. Design: This article is based on interview data from a larger ethnographic research with women judo athletes, grounded in a cultural praxis framework. Method: Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted during fieldwork in Greece. Interview data were analyzed drawing on a Foucauldian approach to discourse analysis. Results: We identified four concepts-biology, gender, femininity, and judo/sport-that were central to unearthing the discourses in which female Greek judokas constructed their identities. Female athletes (strategically) negotiated multiple identities, each serving different purposes. Conclusion: The gender power dynamics in Greek society at large are reproduced in the sporting experience of Greek female judokas. Although women have agency to negotiate their identity, they tend to accept the “given” subject positions within dominant discourses of gender relations. By doing so, female athletes become agents in the reproduction of patriarchal power.
Cultural praxis; Discourse analysis; Ethnography; Gender; Martial arts