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dc.contributor.authorPavlidis, Adele
dc.contributor.editorBaker, S
dc.contributor.editorRobards, B
dc.contributor.editorButtigieg, B
dc.description.abstractRoller derby is one practice that has been labelled ‘subcultural’ in recent times. A contact sport played almost exclusively by women, roller derby is a highly skilled game played in most Western countries. Yet it is more than a sport. Women in roller derby are given the opportunity to push their bodies beyond the limits of passive, heterosexual femininity, and to play with their identities, performing themselves as ‘sexy’, ‘mean’ and ‘tough’. This chapter explores the complexities of labelling this ‘new’ women’s sport ‘subcultural’. As a ‘sport’, tension exists between views of roller derby as explicitly related to the mainstream – sport as a site of health, fitness and ‘social capital’ – versus the subcultural ethos identified by many of its enthusiasts. In the early 1990s, Taylor (2006 [1993], p. 23) wrote that it is important to ‘place [feminist] research on subcultures within an economic, political and social context’. Now, 20 years on, I am taking her lead in analysing the international phenomenon of roller derby and demonstrating the multiplicities of experience made possible through this practice. I argue that the meaning of ‘subculture’ cannot be assumed, and therefore needs to be understood as a living concept that is interpreted in many ways. Recent debates over the usefulness of the term ‘subculture’ might suggest that this is not a viable conceptual framework for studying contemporary youth culture but, as I demonstrate in this chapter, it is still a valuable and important way by which people can choose to understand themselves and their leisure practices. It is also an important concept that helps to understand the complex governance and management issues being untangled in the Australian sport landscape as women find ways to adapt roller derby to an Australian environment.
dc.publisher.placeUnited States
dc.relation.ispartofbooktitleYouth Cultures and Subcultures: Australian Perspectives
dc.subject.fieldofresearchSociology not elsewhere classified
dc.titleSubjective Understanding of 'Subculture': Contemporary Roller Derby in Australia and the Women Who Play
dc.typeBook chapter
dc.type.descriptionB1 - Chapters
dc.type.codeB - Book Chapters
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorPavlidis, Adele

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