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“Talking” and “doing”: an ethnographic examination of the dialectics of “kids’” sport

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
This thesis examines how children and youths from Vancouver, BC reflect upon and talk about their participation and involvement in organized sport activities. Based upon ethnographic interviewing and participant observation conducted at sport events, the thesis analyzes the narratives of children and youth who drew from their personal experiences as athletes and/or volunteers with organized sport. Issues discussed with young athletes raised issues such as the definition of organized sport, the social relationships and interactions that occur during participation in sport, and the manner in which children and youth sport should be structured and organized. This investigation, which employs concepts from the anthropology of childhood and sport, and gender studies, illustrates the dialectical relationship between lived experience and dominant discourses, and shows that children and youths are adept at constructing, engaging with, criticizing and rejecting discourses about organized sport, discourses that serve to both shape and contradict their experiences.
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