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Restructuring the Male Dominant Sport: The Case of Korean Women Boxers

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Authors
김윤정
Advisor
권순용
Major
사범대학 체육교육과
Issue Date
2014-02
Publisher
서울대학교 대학원
Keywords
female boxingfemale participationmale dominant sportstructuration theory
Description
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 체육교육과, 2014. 2. 권순용.
Abstract
however, male boxers were not comfortable with women participating in combat style "traditional" boxing. As to the theme of "management toward male and female boxers", instructors treated boxers equally with respect regardless of gender. Additionally, it was stressed that both male and female boxers undergo the same boxing training. In the responses of "the changing nature of boxing" (whether boxing could be a female sport due to the increasing participation), the boxing community had diverse views. Some instructors pointed out that boxing had the potential to become a sport without a fixed gender connotation
however, one boxing instructor highlighted the characteristics of boxing and disagreed with the fact that boxing could become a "female sport".
Finally, theoretical implications about increasing womens participation in a male dominant sport – boxing – were analyzed by applying Anthony Giddens' structuration theory. The findings were organized by structure, agent, rules and resources, which are the main concepts of the structuration theory. Through the participation of women in boxing, the structure of the masculine sport is reshaped by interactions with women boxers and their boxing instructors. Day-to-day activities of the women boxers, routine boxing work-out programs , and tournament competitions are all combined to create a new culture within the social sphere of boxing. Though boxing is pre-dominantly occupied by male counterparts, mostly male instructors, women are gradually becoming a part of this structure. Therefore, through interaction, women have the opportunity to experience "traditional boxing" within the changing structure of boxing. Futhermore, the participation of women boxers at both the recreational and professional level provides a basis in the promotion and development of female boxing in Korea.
Boxing has traditionally been believed to be a dangerous sport where womens participation has been limited. However, in Korea, the number of women participating in boxing has increased over the past decade due to the popularity of combined boxing exercises, increasing interests in weight management, and increases in media exposure – particularly that of a famous actress boxer, Siyoung Lee. Women boxers have actively involved in traditional boxing training and competition, while initially being attracted to the health and weight loss benefits of boxing exercises.
The purposes of this study were to understand the experiences of Korean women boxers, the perspectives of the existing boxing community toward women's participation in boxing, and the influence of women's participation in the boxing – a male dominant sport. In-depth interviews and participation observations were utilized to collect data. Five women boxers, four male boxers, and four boxing instructors (three male and one female) were selected as research participants.
The key findings are as follows:
First, as to reasons for "becoming women boxers", a combination of factors such as weight management and appearance, gym location convenience, media influence, past experience in other sports, and the encouragement of family members all influenced women boxers to participate in boxing. However, it was found that women boxers were introduced to sparring and tournaments only through their boxing instructors. Women boxers experienced two different types of boxing, respectively, non-combat "diet" boxing and combat style "traditional" boxing. During the period of non-combat "diet" boxing, women boxers participated in boxing exercises and workouts for weight loss. Through combat style "traditional" boxing, however, women boxers experienced different training methods, changes in emotions during sparring, developing trust with sparring partners, controlling intensity of spars, and satisfaction and accomplishment. With these experiences women boxers developed three views of boxing. First of all, they stated that their view of boxing changed from a brutal form of combat to an athletic sport
second, the women boxers believed that their participation in boxing had the potential to change to a profession from the initial motivations of a social activity
third, women boxers kept traditional boxing participation a secret to avoid stereotyping and conflicts within their external social networks.
Second, the responses of the boxing community were categorized into three themes, "perspectives of female participation in boxing", "management toward male and female boxers", and "the changing nature of boxing". The boxing community – male boxers and boxing instructors – had various perspectives on the participation of women in boxing. In general, the boxing community had a positive view of women participating in sports. However, at the same time, male boxers and boxing instructors had ambivalent views toward women's participation in boxing: instructors favored women's participation in boxing for business reasons
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/127297
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College of Education (사범대학)Dept. of Physical Education (체육교육과)Theses (Master's Degree_체육교육과)
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