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How elite Canadian female singles figure skaters experience the girlification of elite women's figure skating Open Access


Other title
Canadian figure skating
embodiment of girlification
figure skating
Elite women's figure skating
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Story, Corinne-Ann
Supervisor and department
Dr. Pirkko Markula (Sociocultural Studies of Sport and Leisure)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Doug Brown (UofC)
Dr. Jim Denison (Sociocultural Studies of Sport and Leisure)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
The purpose of this research was to explore how the elite female Canadian singles figure skaters experience the women’s elite singles figure skating events as events in which the majority of participants are young girls and young women with girlish figures (Kestnbaum, 2003). Through a lens of critical feminism, I further interpreted the interviewees’ experiences within the structural rules that might sustain the young ages and tiny body types of the participants. I used semi- structured interviews (Patton, 2002) with ten former elite women singles skaters who competed within the Edmonton region. In my research project, I located their experiences within the larger context of structural rules within figure skating, both written and unwritten, that may contribute to the majority of participants being young girls and young women with tiny bodies. I focused particularly on the impact of the age restrictions that are placed on competitive categories. In addition, I explored their beliefs about the ideal body type for elite women’s figure skating and their experiences with their own bodies.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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