Transformations in women’s sport across time and cultural boundaries

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Carole Ann Oglesby

Abstract

This paper presents an overview for an hypothesis that women’s liberation in sport is but one thread in the tapestry of women’s sport development throughout the Americas, focusing particularly in parallels between Brazil and the United States. Motivations for women’s progress had common bases in the USA and in much of Latin America, albeit the latter had to grapple with significant specificities given the upheavals it has gone through during most of the twentieth century. The consolidation of a brief overview of women’s work in recent sport social psychology exposes considerable similarities between approaches of women in sport social psychology and the broader field of feminism and psychology. In women’s physical education during the 1960s and early 1970s, a great deal of research and scholarly discourse was quietly transpiring concerning the psychology of gender roles in sport and the psychosocial impact of women in sport. Women’s sport development in Latin America, however, was out of sight for mainstream scholars because of language barriers, even though Spanish and Portuguese are among the world’s most spoken languages. The trajectory of women in sport in the region is nevertheless noteworthy. The following paper concludes that, despite last century’s significant achievements and progress, sport governance and ideologies continue to construct sport as a masculine domain.

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