Sports-related injury, risk and pain: the experiences of English female university athletes
2010-12-20T09:38:59Z (GMT) by
While sport is often viewed as synonymous with health, increasing sociological evidence (Kotarba, 1983,2004; Messner, 1990; Frey, 1991; Nixon, 1992, 1993a, 1993b; Young, 1993; Curry and Strauss, 1994; Young et al, 1994; Walk, 1997; Albert, 1999; Roderick et al, 2000; Roderick, 2004) indicates that participation on many sports can be linked with serious health risks. Studies, for example, have examined a variety of male sports environments in order to explore the sports-related pain and injury experiences of men. Sociological attention, in this respect, has often been given to dominant notions of masculinity and their role in shaping the use of male the male athlete's body, particularly when it is injured or in pain. Although the experiences of the male athlete are well documented, the female athlete and her experiences of pain and injury have, so far, been relatively neglected. Moreover, most studies are based largely upon the analysis of quantitative data and have been conducted by male, North American sociologists on male, North American athletes. This study is, therefore, concerned Nvith beginning to redress the current imbalance by examining the'injury and pain experiences of female athletes at a wellknown university in the UK. Data were gathered from women involved in a range of sports - tennis, rugby, track and field, soccer, field hockey, triathlon, swimming, show jumping, canoeing, lacrosse and volleyball - using survey, semi-structured interview and non-participant observation research. The research was aimed at exploring a range of issues, including the socially constructed nature of sports-related pain and injury and the role which established hegemonic power relations can have to play in the female athlete's experience of injury and pain in sport.