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Netball in the Lives of New Zealand Women: The Potential of Focus Groups for Feminist Sport History


Contemporary feminist sport historians implement an array of innovative and unique methodologies to explore the lives and sporting experiences of women. Yet focus groups remain relatively scarce in the field of feminist sport history. Drawing upon my study of women’s past and present netball experiences in New Zealand society, this paper reveals how a post-structural feminist approach to focus groups can offer a valuable means to capture women’s multiple and varied sporting experiences. More particularly, I discuss how focus groups with an emphasis on oral history can be used to foreground the “stories” of women’s past sporting lives, evoke rich memories, and importantly, to recognize the need to position women’s voices within broader socio-cultural developments and gender relations.