Feminist studies of sport offer a rich, interdisciplinary literature on the gendered dimensions of physical culture. This literature illuminates distinct aspects of women’s sporting experiences as well as how gendered, sexed, and intersectional difference informs practices, cultures, and representations of sport and physical activity. Feminist analyses of the entanglements of science, technology, and sport, while increasing in number, are comparatively limited in scope. This chapter surveys approaches used to study technosocial relations, particularly feminist technoscience, considering their current and potential contributions to studies of sport. First, it reflects on how scholars have used and adapted Haraway’s notion of the cyborg in analyses of sport. It then examines how scholars have employed agential realism and assemblage, considering their potential for feminist studies of sport. The chapter concludes by summarizing the possibilities of feminist technoscience studies of sport, while also considering how the study of embodiment, sport, and physical activity offers important reminders for scholarship on science, technology, and society.
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Ahmed (2008) characterizes new materialism’s “caricature of poststructuralism as matter-phobic” as both unfair (p. 34) and “motivated, as if the moment of ‘rejection’ is needed to authorize a new terrain” (p. 33). For more information about the debates around materialism, readers should consult a series of articles published in European Journal of Women’s Studies, which span 2008 through the present.
Some important feminist technoscience theories—such as “situated knowledges” (Haraway 1991, p. 183), “strong objectivity” (Harding 1991, p. 138), and “agential realism” (Barad 2007, p. 132)—have wide appeal within and beyond STS (Subramaniam 2009, p. 960). Situated knowledge, for example, reflects a recognition that robust knowledge cannot come from a bird’s eye view of phenomena; rather, it emerges from “partial, locatable accounts of the world that are both accurate and explicitly embedded within the contexts of its own production” (Haraway 1988, pp. 575–599). Proponents of strong objectivity contend that persons and groups who occupy marginalized positions are more likely to be attentive to dimensions of social dynamics and systems often overlooked by more privileged observers; thus, in order to strengthen objectivity, their perspectives must feature centrally in knowledge production (Harding 1991).
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Henne, K. (2020). Possibilities of Feminist Technoscience Studies of Sport: Beyond Cyborg Bodies. In: Sterling, J., McDonald, M. (eds) Sports, Society, and Technology. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-32-9127-0_7
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