As a new breed of lifestyle sport enthusiasts ’derby grrrls’ are pushing the boundaries of gender as they negotiate the nexus of pleasure, pain and power relations. Offering a socio-cultural analysis of the rise and reinvention of roller derby as both a new, globalized women’s sport and an everyday creative leisure space, this book explores the manner in which roller derby has emerged as a gendered space for self-transformation, belonging and embodied contest, in which women are invited to experience their emotions differently, embrace pain and overcome limits. Sport, Gender and Power: The Rise of Roller Derby presents detailed interview, ethnographic and autoethnographic material, together with a range of media texts to shed new light on the complex relationships of power experienced by women in derby as a sport culture, whilst also examining the darker relationships that characterise the sport, including those of inclusion and exclusion, difference and identity, and competition and participation. A contemporary feminist study of empowerment, sexual difference, gender and affect, this book will appeal to scholars of gender and sexuality, embodiment, feminist thought and the sociology of sport and leisure.
’In the ever expanding sports literature it is so good to see such significant, substantial, feminist research which combines robust critical theory with innovative methodologies. This great book makes a significant contribution to the literature on the social, political and cultural significance of sport. It really is inspiring. I learned so much.’ Kath Woodward, Open University, UK ’Unique, accessible, smart and practical: Pavlidis and Fullagar have crafted a theoretically sophisticated examination of the unique context of the woman-centered space. Socio-cultural theorists and sport enthusiasts are afforded the occasion to see what this growing sport illustrates about the complexity, fragility, utility and power of gender in contemporary society. You’ll never think of them as just girls on skates� again.’ Corey W. Johnson, University of Georgia, USA