1 Institute for Sports Sciences, University of Gottingen, Germany
The present contribution draws on a broad set of qualitative studies on children’s physicalactivity socialization to focus on the individual perspectives and practices of parents and of boys aged four to ten in Germany. Applying a theoretical lens informed by the sociology of knowledge, it shows how more or less ‘traditional’ images of what it means to be a boy are embedded in parents’ patterns of thought and action, across milieus, and how these images are activated in view of assumed ‘social necessities’ or by recourse to ‘naturalizations.’ The analysis further shows how boys situate and see themselves in relation to physical activity, sports, and the body in the context of perceived gender relations. The overall conclusion is that physical activity, sports, and the body prove to be an anchor across all milieus for solidifying gender-related inequalities in childhood, even though particularly educationally inclined parents emphasize gender equality.
Gendered physical-activity socialization, empirical childhood research, parents, boys, gender knowledge
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