• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss how feminist theory can help explain women's experiences of health and or sport.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss how feminist theory can help explain women's experiences of health and or sport. Within this essay I am going to discuss how feminist theory can help explain women's experiences of sport. I am going to give a brief outline of four feminist perspectives and then look at how some of the perspectives help explain women's experiences of sport, specifically Formula 1 motoracing. Feminism is concerned with understanding the oppression and trying to put right the inequalities of women, in an essay entitled What is Feminism? Rosalind Delamar suggested that "at the very least a feminist is someone who holds that women suffer discrimination because of their sex, that they have specific needs which remain negated and unsatisfied, and that satisfaction of these needs would require a radical change (some would say a revolution even) in the social, economic and political order". (Delamar in J Mitchell and A Oakley eds, 1986:8) (Introduction to Sociology, O'Donnel, M p189). There have been no female drivers in Formula 1 since 1992, even though 48% of the 30-million licenced drivers in the UK alone are female. I am therefore going to look at how women are viewed and portrayed within the context of F1 racing from a feminist perspective and try to understand why no women are involved at the present time. ...read more.


Femininity is also based on sexual attractiveness, bodyshape for example, the dominant ideas of society that conclude women should be thin, that women's bodies are weaker and less able than men's but can be moulded and objectified in the media and on television to fit in with what society considers to be the norm. The hegemonic markers of masculinity on the other hand are all the exact opposite of femininity, that men should be hard, strong, aggressive,competitive, etc, that it is a mans natural role to compete with others, to be the dominant power. In motoracing the skills required are "strength, stamina, concentration, competitive will, quick reaction/reflexes, excellent eyesight,cardio fitness, leanness and more to be a world class championship-calibre race car driver. Yet none of these qualities are defined by gender" (www.lynstjames.com/lynstjames/ecclestone). Unfortunately in a patriarchal society nearly all these skills are linked to the hegemonic markers of masculinity. The image of F1 (Formula 1) is that of a glamourous sport with a playboy image, the racing drivers are seen as rich and flamboyant, on a par with movie and popstars. This attracts a lot of media attention to the sport as well as to the private lives of the racing drivers themselves. ...read more.


In conclusion I have looked into and tried to establish reasons for there not being any female racing drivers in F1. I have suggested that this could be down to the portrayal of women within the realms of F1, that women are viewed as sexual objects and that any participation of women in the role of race contender could be trivialised and undermined by this imagery. Also gender stereotyping, cars and racing are viewed as a male domain and from a young age children are guided into the areas that are typically viewed as male and female, these socially constructed gender roles therefore guide children in to what is acceptable for boys and girls, that certain sports are not seen as being feminine, like motor racing for example, and girls should not be encourage by being given cars to play with. So, until the boundaries of stereotypical gender roles are broken and all children are encouraged to fulfil their potential, no matter what direction, women will not be encouraged towards male dominated sports. The lack of any role model for budding female drivers to aspire to may have a negative effect on the sport, by not breaking down the barriers and prejudices around F1 and allowing women through on to the circuit the sport is cutting itself of from half the population. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Are the differences between radical and liberal feminism greater than what unites them?

    5 star(s)

    It seems that there is an ironic overlap in that the slowness of liberal feminism spurred a move towards the more radical goals and methods of radical feminism. Taking this into account one can take a broad-brush approach and place liberal feminism in the 19th century and radical feminism in the 20th century.

  2. A-Level Sociology Theory + Methods Revision.

    Positivist research techniques are more reliable than interpretive techniques. They see themselves as scientific + tend to see society as the object of study + the individual as a relatively passive product of it. They don't acknowledge free will. Sociology is more important.

  1. The purpose of this essay is to describe four studies relating to gender each ...

    (Haralambos, 2000, page 131) The functionalist perspective suggests that the traditional roles of men and women are the most conducive to the smooth operation of society. Functionalists have taken Murdock's biological explanation, for the division of labour, as the fundamental principles from which to base their analysis of 'sex roles'

  2. 'It is women who have to cope with problems created by men.' Discuss O'Casey's ...

    This is another very obvious example of how women have to suffer for the actions of men. Johnny directs his guilt and his anger towards Juno because of the murder that he committed. O'Casey uses this so we view Juno as a victim of other people's stupid mistakes, mainly those of men.

  1. What are the basic elements of Feminism? What are the differences between liberal and ...

    economy but in all aspects of social, personal and sexual existence which 'ensures male superiority' (Coote and Campbell)8. Kate Millet developed this idea in Sexual Politics in which she defined the 'patriarchal government' as an institution 'whereby that half of the population which is female is controlled by the half which is male'.

  2. What Is Ageism; What, If Any, Affinities Does It Have With Racism or Sexism?

    Just as young black people in inner cities such as London or Manchester are seen as the main cause of crime in those areas because they are poor, and women are seen to be, like the old, defenceless and dependent on others.

  1. Crime - 'The media portrays ethnic minorities in negative ways', Discuss.

    positive and negative characters. I asked this question to see if I was correct about what I thought and through my findings I was proven correct because through my findings I found out that ethnic minorities are shown as negative characters through the media, my results show 64% people said

  2. The essay will interpret inequalities in health among the sub-populations of socio-economic class position, ...

    It also tends to 'blame the victims' by focusing on explaining inequalities of health in terms of peoples bad behaviour, whilst ignoring the many reasons why people are often forced to behave in certain ways. (Moon and Gillespie, 1995: 203)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work