From Riot Grrrls to roller derby? Exploring the relations between gender, music and sport
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The current revival of the sport of roller derby was initiated in 2001 by mem- bers of the Riot Grrrl movement in Austin, Texas. Since then, the sport has grown rapidly across the globe. In roller derby, style, costume and attitude are integrated with skills, embodied competencies and fitness, providing an example of the tensions between creativity and constraint that are possible within sport. From its direct links to do-it-yourself punk and the Riot Grrrl movement through to the more implicit links to improvisation and competence, roller derby provides a space to explore some under-acknowledged connections that exist between sport and popular music. Roller derby enables women to experience a creative, gendered leisure space in which popular music, play and competitive sport come together, with women placed at its centre. Using my own experi- ences as a new roller derby participant, as well as observations of popular discourses about roller derby, the article outlines some of the ways in which sport and popular music are related, allowing women to shift between multiple subject positions not previously available to them, as well as highlighting direc- tions for future research.
© 2011 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Leisure Studies, Volume 31, Issue 2, 2012, Pages 165-176. Leisure Studiese is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
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