The Frailty Myth proposes that the female body can be frozen, restricted by the ever present negative gendered narrative perpetuated by society. Embodiment occurs when the female body is thawed. The opposite can be argued for boys. Boys are taught to live their bodies, that is they have a sense of embodiment. Therefore, boys do not have to concern themselves with thawing their bodies as they already experience their bodies in strong and liberal ways. In this study, I compare how girls and boys live their bodies utilizing participant observation. Six themes emerged: being the instructor, gendered discourse in action, body proximity and movement, The Invincibility Effect, the grade six and seven/eight divide and lived body moments. The implications of these observations suggest how activities such as self-defense have the potential to create a lived body, that girls can work toward a lived body and gender can be observed through everyday lived experiences. Though research exists within the literature; it does not seem to address the performance of the lived body within this population, utilizing a comparative approach.
gender, self-defense, participant observation, middle school students
I would like to acknowledge those that helped in the preparation of this manuscript.
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Recommended APA Citation
Follo, G. (2021). Comparing Girls’ and Boys’ Lived Bodies of Middle School Students in Self-Defense Utilizing Participant Observation. The Qualitative Report, 26(6), 1762-1776. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4773