UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Women and nonbinary people's understandings of their sports-based activism Sanvido, Hannah


The primary objective of this research is to determine how women and nonbinary people perceive their activism in the sporting or greater world. The hope of this research is for others to continue their activism and create a more equitable and inclusive sport setting and society. Women and nonbinary people involved in sport including athletes, board members and sport organization founders were purposefully recruited to participate in a study concerning sports- based activism. A narrative methodology was employed using two semi-structured interviews. In line with narrative methodologies smaller participant range and more personable accounts, three participants were interviewed. Using a critical intersectional lens, this research asked women and nonbinary individuals involved in sport about their activism. I focused on three research questions and pulled out multiple themes from participant narratives. When discussing how women and nonbinary people understand and navigate systems that are often inequitable and discriminatory, themes included that sport spaces are exclusionary, critical perspectives are lacking and there are constraints to change within sport. Regarding how identity relates to social justice, participants spoke on sport categorization, how people seek belonging and how groups who share identities do not necessarily share values. Lastly, relating to activism impact, participants focused on family dynamics and sport politics, how social change is facilitated as well as difficulties and enablers in relation to social change. This research builds on existing literature by including narrative perspectives of sports-based activism, focusing on intersectional identities and including people involved in sport beyond the athlete. Moreover, practical recommendations about how organizations might be more inclusive from the activists are included.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International