The pain and pleasure of roller derby: Thinking through affect and subjectification
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Writing about pain in roller derby challenges us to rethink old dichotomies that separate mind and body, 'real' and virtual, feminine and masculine. The 'tough' roller derby 'girl', willing and able to endure pain for the pleasure of the game, has become a powerful figure in contemporary western popular culture. Our analysis of roller derby reveals women's complex relation to pain and pleasure, as part of a feminist reimagining of sport. Through an analysis of derby texts we explore how painful affects are mobilized in particular ways: to imagine collective belonging, to invent alternative feminine subjectivities, and to mark out the limits of self and other. In this way we endeavour to think through the affective experience of derby and how sport might become more gender inclusive as a transformational cultural site. The embodiment of pain is not simply one of 'overcoming', but a corporeal relation that is productive of multiple feminine subjectivities.
International Journal of Cultural Studies
© 2014 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
Social and Cultural Geography