Negotiating Moral Terrain: Snowboarding Mothers

  • Lucy Spowart
  • Lisette Burrows
Chapter
Part of the Global Culture and Sport Series book series (GCS)

Abstract

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.

References

  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) (2002). Opinion number 267 (Jan. 2002): Exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 77, 79–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bianchi, S., Sayer, L., Milkie, M., & Robinson, J. (2012). Housework: Who did, does, or will do it, and how much does it matter? Social Forces, 91(1), 55–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Booth, D. (2009). Politics and pleasure: The philosophy of physical education revisited. Quest, 61(2), 133–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brymer, E. (2005). Extreme dude! A phenomenological perspective on the extreme sport experience. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Woollongong, Sydney.Google Scholar
  5. Brymer, E., & Oades, L. G. (2009). Extreme sports: A positive transformation in courage and humility. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 49, 114–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burgess, J. (1998). But is it worth taking the risk? How women negotiate access to urban woodland: A case study. In R. Ainley (Ed.), New frontiers of space, bodies and gender (pp. 115–128). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Burrows, L., Petrie, K., & Cosgriff, M. (2013). Health invaders in New Zealand Primary Schools. Waikato Journal of Education, 18(2), 12–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Butler, J. (1997). The psychic life of power: Theories in subjection. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Castel, R. (1991). From dangerousness to risk. In G. Burchell, C. Gordon, & P. Miller (Eds.), The Foucault effect: Studies in governmentality (pp. 281–298). Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  10. Clayton, B., & Coates, E. (2014). Negotiating the climb: A fictional representation of climbing, gendered parenting and the morality of time. Annals of Leisure Research. doi:10.1080/11745398.2014.957221.Google Scholar
  11. Cole, R. (1998). New mothers creating their well-being: A hermeneutic study. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Western Sydney, Sydney.Google Scholar
  12. Currie, J. (2004). Motherhood, Stress and the exercise experience: Freedom or constraint? Leisure Studies, 23(3), 225–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Damaske, S. (2013). Work, family, and accounts of mothers’ lives using discourse to navigate intensive mothering ideals. Sociology Compass, 7(6), 436–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dant, T., & Wheaton, B. (2007). Windsurfing: An extreme form of material and embodied interaction? Anthropology Today, 23(6), 8–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Donnelly, M. (2006). Studying extreme sports: Beyond the core participants. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 30(2), 219–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Douglas, M., & Wildavsky, A. (1982). Risk and culture: An essay on selection of technological and environmental dangers. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  17. Foucault, M. (1970). The order of things: An archaeology of the human sciences. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  18. Foucault, M. (1994). On the geneology of ethics: An overview of work in progress. In P. Rabinow (Ed.), Essential works of Foucault 1954-1984 volume 1: Ethics, subjectivity and truth (pp. 253–280). London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  19. Frohlick, S. (2006). Wanting the children and wanting K2: The incommensurability of motherhood and mountaineering in Britain and North America in the late twentieth century. Gender Place and Culture, 13(5), 477–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fullagar, S. (2009). Governing healthy family lifestyles through discourses of risk and responsibility. In J. Wright & V. Harwood (Eds.), Biopolitics and the 'Obesity Epidemic': Governing bodies (pp. 108–126). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Green, E., & Singleton, C. (2006). Risky bodies at leisure: Young women negotiating space and place. Sociology, 40(5), 853–871.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harrington, C. (2002). Agency and social identity: Resistance among Pākehā New Zealand mothers. Women’s Studies International Forum, 25(1), 109–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hays, S. (1996). The cultural contradictions of motherhood. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Henderson, K. A., & Bialeshki, M. D. (1991). A sense of entitlement to leisure as constraint and empowerment for women. Leisure Sciences, 13(1), 51–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Henriques, J., Hollway, W., Urwin, C., Venn, C., & Walkerdine, V. (1984). Changing the subject: Psychology, social regulation and subjectivity. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  26. Howe, P. (2004). Sport, professionalism and pain: Ethnographies of injury and risk. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jette, S. (2006a). Fit for two? A critical discourse analysis of oxygen fitness magazine. Sociology of Sport Journal, 23(4), 331–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jette, S. (2006b). Governing risk, exercising caution: Western medical knowledge, physical activity and pregnancy. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver.Google Scholar
  29. Kay, T. (1996). Women’s work and women’s worth: The leisure implications of women’s changing employment patterns. Leisure Studies, 15(1), 49–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. le Breton, D. (2000). Playing symbolically with death in extreme sports. Body and Society, 6(1), 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lee, E. (2008). Living with risk in an era of ‘intensive motherhood’: Maternal identity and infant feeding. Health, Risk and Society, 10(5), 467–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Longhurst, R. (2008). Maternities: Gender, bodies and space. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Lupton, D. (1999a). Introduction: Risk and sociocultural theory. In D. Lupton (Ed.), Risk and sociocultural theory: New directions and perspectives (pp. 1–11). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lupton, D. (1999b). Risk and the ontology of pregnant embodiment. In D. Lupton (Ed.), Risk and sociocultural theory: New directions and perspectives (pp. 59–85). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lupton, D. (2006). Sociology and risk. In G. Mythen & S. Walklate (Eds.), Beyond the risk society (pp. 11–24). Berkshire: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Lupton, D., & Tulloch, J. (2002). Life would be pretty dull without risk: Voluntary risk-taking and its pleasures. Health, Risk and Society, 4(2), 113–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Miller, Y., & Brown, W. (2005). Determinants of active leisure for women with young children—an “ethic of care” prevails. Leisure Sciences, 27, 405–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ministry of Health. (2009). Benefits of breastfeeding. Retrieved 12 April, 2009, from http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/breastfeeding-why
  39. Petersen, A. (1997). Risk, governance and the new public health. In A. Petersen & R. Bunton (Eds.), Foucault, health and medicine (pp. 189–206). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Pringle, R. (2008). ‘No rugby -no fear’: Collective stories, masculinities and transformative possibilities in schools. Sport, Education and Society, 13(2), 215–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Probert, A., Palmer, F., & Leberman, S. (2007). The fine line: An insight into ‘risky’ practices of male and female competitive bodybuilders. Annals of Leisure Research, 10(3/4), 272–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rail, G. (2009). Canadian youth’s discursive constructions of the body and health. In J. Wright & V. Harwood (Eds.), Biopolitics and the “obesity epidemic”: Governing bodies (pp. 141–156). New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Rose, N. (1993). Government, authority and expertise in advanced liberalism. Economy and Society, 22(3), 283–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Roster, C. (2007). “Girl power” and participation in macho recreation: The case of female Harley riders. Leisure Sciences, 29, 443–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Russell, J. (2005). The value of dangerous sport. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 32(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schrader, M., & Wann, D. (1999). High risk recreation: The relationship between participant characteristics and degree of involvement. Journal of Sport Behaviour, 22(3), 426–441.Google Scholar
  47. Scott, J. (1994). Deconstructing equality-versus-difference: Or, the uses of poststructuralist theory for feminism. In S. Seidman (Ed.), The postmordern turn (pp. 282–298). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sharara, N. (2006). Big air, sick jibs, and fresh tracks: An examination of snowboarders’ understandings of risk. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Calgary, Canada.Google Scholar
  49. Simon, J. (2002). Taking risks: Extreme sports and the embrace of risk in advanced liberal societies. In T. Baker & J. Simon (Eds.), Embracing risk: The changing culture of insurance and responsibility (pp. 177–208). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  50. Spowart, L. (2010). Snowboarding mums carve out fresh tracks: Collective stories from the mountains of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Otago, Dunedin.Google Scholar
  51. Spowart, L., Hughson, J., & Shaw, S. (2008). Snowboarding mums carve out fresh tracks: Resisting traditional motherhood discourse? Annals of Leisure Research, 11(1–2), 187–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stoddart, M. (2010). Constructing masculinized sportscapes: Skiing, gender and nature in British Columbia, Canada. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 46(1), 108–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stranger, M. (1999). The aesthetics of risk: A study of surfing. International Review of the Sociology of Sport, 34(3), 265–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Thorpe, H. (2008). Foucault, technologies of the self, and the media: Discourses of femininity in snowboarding culture. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 32, 199–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Thorpe, H. (2012). Transnational mobilities in snowboarding culture: Travel, tourism and lifestyle migration. Mobilities, 7(2), 317–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wachs, T. D., Black, M. M., & Engle, P. L. (2009). Maternal depression: A global threat to children’s health, development, and behaviour and to human rights. Child Development Perspectives, 3(1), 51–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wang, T. M., & Apgar, B. S. (1998). Exercise during pregnancy. American Academy of Family Physicians, 57(9), 1846–1857.Google Scholar
  58. Wheaton, B. (1997). Consumption, lifestyle and gendered identities in post-modern sports: The case of windsurfing. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Unive.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucy Spowart
    • 1
  • Lisette Burrows
    • 2
  1. 1.Postgraduate Clinical Education, Peninsular School of Medicine and DentistryPlymouth UniversityDerrifordUK
  2. 2.School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise SciencesUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations