Browsing by Author "Berg, Päivi"

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  • Berg, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    This study examines gender as a dimension of group divisions and differences in physical education (PE) lessons at school. The aim is to look at those structures and practices which direct the ways the girls and the boys move their bodies at secondary school in 2000’s while growing up to become women and men. Theoretically, the goal is to clarify how the social is inscribed to the bodies in the context of physical education lessons at school. This ethnographic study was conducted in the physical education lessons of 7th graders (13-14-year-olds) by observing the everyday life in five PE groups and by interviewing pupils (N=27) and their teachers (N=2). This method has given the researcher “a sense of the game”; an embodied experience of the feel for the game of the studied phenomenon. The access to the contextual “positions of expertise” does not seem to be socially and materially equally distributed in physical education. In PE the criteria of inclusion and exclusion were intertwined with physical skills and friendships, these hierarchies becoming visible in the situations of team choice in PE lessons. Not all families have possibilities to enable their children to participate in expensive leisure sports activities. Therefore the family’s societal position is in relation to the construction of leisure time activities. The access to certain possibilities demands time and money. In Finland the physical education is mainly carried out in differentiated groups for girls and boys. In physical education, the gender-differentiated groups, and partially the different practices of these groups activate, and on the other hand suppress, situations of gender related borderwork. In this research, both pupils and PE teachers repeatedly mentioned the naturality of the differences while speaking about gender. The differences were also restored to gender. I apply Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical view to the social situations, ethnographic fieldwork and interviews. My central statement is that in ethnography the audience has access to the backstage of the researcher since reporting does not follow the traditional division to the public and the private.