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Autoethnography: Forging a New Direction in Feminist Sport History


This research note describes the opportunities that autoethnography presents for feminist sport history research. A combination of self, culture, and the investigative research process, autoethnography has been successfully implemented in sociological research but has yet to be widely accepted in the realm of sport history. Using lived experience and personal voice(s), autoethnographers examine social structures and sub-cultures through short stories, novels, poetic representation, fiction, and a variety of other literary forms. By linking the past to the present, autoethnography has the potential to reveal how gender inequalities from the past continue to influence the embodied experiences of female athletes today. Blurring the lines between researcher and subject, we can discover what knowledge lies dormant within our sporting bodies through which we actively experience sport. Writing from inside one’s physical self challenges traditional history practices and creates an opening towards discovery.

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