Women in Action Sport Cultures

Part of the series Global Culture and Sport Series pp 155-174


Negotiating Moral Terrain: Snowboarding Mothers

  • Lucy SpowartAffiliated withPostgraduate Clinical Education, Peninsular School of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth University
  • , Lisette BurrowsAffiliated withSchool of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago


Motherhood is largely an invisible concept when it comes to action sports, which are most commonly positioned as sports associated with youths. In this chapter we offer an in-depth discussion of motherhood and action sports participation drawing on semi-structured interviews and diary entries with eight snowboarding mums. Foucault’s ideas of ‘governmentality’ and ‘technologies of the self’ are utilised to explore the discursive positions the women draw on to talk about risk. Our analysis reveals that both the social and moral risks of engaging in action sports are exaggerated for mothers, particularly during pregnancy. Despite this, pleasure is frequently derived from deliberately confronting challenges.