This book lifts the lid on the high pressured, complex world of women’s artistic gymnastics. By adopting a socio-cultural lens incorporating historical, sociological and psychological perspectives, it takes the reader through the story and workings of women’s artistic gymnastics.
Beginning with its early history as a ‘feminine appropriate’ sport, the book follows the sport through its transition to a modern sports form. Including global cases and innovative narrative methods, it explores the way gymnasts have experienced its intense challenges, the complexities of the coach-athlete relationship, and how others involved in the sport, such as parents and medical personnel, have contributed to the reproduction of a highly demanding and potentially abusive sporting culture.
With the focus on a unique women’s sport, the book is an important read for researchers and students studying sport sociology, sport coaching, and physical education, but it is also a valuable resource for anyone interested in the development of sporting talent.
Roslyn Kerr is Associate Professor in Sociology of Sport and Dean of the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design at Lincoln University in New Zealand.
Natalie Barker-Ruchti is Associate Professor in the Division of Sport Science, School of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
Carly Stewart is Head of Department of Sport and Event Management at Bournemouth University, UK.
Gretchen Kerr is Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Table of Content
Part I: The history, politics, commercialisation and diversification of women’s artistic gymnastics
Jenny’s story: Part I – Frank
Part II: The gymnast experience
Jenny’s sory: Part II – An unexpected event
Part III: Coach-athlete relationships
Jenny’s story: Part III – Worries and pressures
Part IV: The multiple actors involved in creating an elite gymnast
Jenny’s story: Part IV – Enough’s enough