There's no sorry in roller derby: A feminist examination of the collective identity formation of women in the full contact sport of roller derby
Storms, Carolyn E.
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This ethnographic study addresses the processes of collective identity formation namely consciousness, boundaries, and negotiations in the areas of gender ideology, physical activity, and female sexuality as they are experienced by women who engage in the full contact sport of roller derby. This was accomplished using data obtained through thirty semi-structured interviews with current roller derby skaters and two years as a complete member in the group. Theoretical issues relating to the boundaries of gender ideology, physical activity, and female sexuality are raised to help deconstruct some of the lingering stereotypes that continue to plague female skaters in the sport today, namely heterosexist allegations of lesbianism and claims of fraudulency. Women's roller derby bypasses many of the institutional boundaries placed on female physical activity by situating the sport apart from the restrictions of preexisting gender segregated and stratified athletic institutions. The current roller derby movement is the modern incarnation of a continuously evolving tradition of the liberation of American women through roller skating by discrediting unfounded assumptions of lesbianism resulting from gender atypical athleticism that is considered unfeminine.