Feminist Theories of Emotion and Affect in Sport

Simone Fullagar, Adele Pavlidis

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

24 Citations (SciVal)


In this chapter we explore how the ‘affective turn’ within feminist theory (Wetherall, 2014; Blackman, 2012; Pedwell & Whitehead, 2012; Braidiotti, 2011; Clough, 2008; Probyn, 2005; Ahmed 2004) has shaped new ways of thinking about gendered power relations, subjectivities and embodied sport experiences. Scholarship on affect and emotion has advanced theorizing of embodied movement that has enabled more complex understandings of the material, visceral, discursive dimensions of gendered subjectivities. Cultural theories of affect extend post-structural critiques of the rational, self-present subject, while also questioning the limits of language through a desire to explore the relational forces that shape embodiment (in relation to other bodies, surfaces, textures and feelings). In this sense, sport and leisure are sites through which bodiesmove through affective practices (Wetherall, 2014), and they are alsomoved by intersubjective relations (pre-conscious and conscious) that are corporeal and social at once (shame, joy, pleasure and pain). We draw upon a range of examples from different sport contexts, with a focus on women’s roller derby, to consider the value of theorizing the affective body and the social relations of affect through contemporary feminist approaches. The turn towards affect has also opened up debates about the desire to produce different feminist knowledges in the post-disciplinary era and the need for diverse methodologies to creatively and critically examine how (in)active embodiment is shaped within particular cultural contexts
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Feminism in Sport, Leisure and Physical Education
EditorsLouise Mansfield, Jayne Cauldwell, Belinda Wheaton, Beccy Watson
Place of PublicationHoundsmills, U. K.
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)9781137533173
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


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