Quick Search:

Negative peer-relations in Female Physical Education: a sociological analysis of teachers’ experiences, views and interpretations

McRoy, Katherine Sarah (2022) Negative peer-relations in Female Physical Education: a sociological analysis of teachers’ experiences, views and interpretations. Masters thesis, York St John University.

Text (MSc by Research thesis)
Katherine MCROY FINAL THESIS.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

| Preview


Physical education and sport are widely regarded as a site for social cohesion, fair play and the development of positive character traits and values. However, young people’s engagement and satisfaction in PE is low, with gendered attitudes creating and perpetuating detrimental effects on young people's experiences of PE and physical activity. Social dynamics and peer relations are shown to be significant in young people's experiences and perceptions of PE; however, existing research shows PE to be rife with bullying behaviours. This has been researched amongst boys and their use of banter in these interactions but there is very little known about these interactions and social dynamics between girls in female PE. PE Teachers are central figures in the moderation of these interactions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine and sociologically analyse FPE teachers’ experiences, views and interpretations of negative peer relations in FPE. This study focused on exploring and understanding girls' behaviours and interactions such as banter and bullying, through the views and experiences of FPE teachers. 12 semi-structured interviews with female PE teachers were conducted and key concepts of figurational sociology were used to critically frame and analyse the data, such as power, figurations, habitus and ‘I’-‘We’-‘They’ identities. Key findings of this study highlighted the environment of PE to be unique in providing opportunities for informal social interaction, between both girls and FPE teachers, though this provided equal opportunity for negative peer interactions. Girls regarded peer-perception of to be of high importance, and experienced feelings of judgement, exposure, fear and self-consciousness, strongly linked to “I” and “we” identities. PE provides opportunities for power struggles, as these are often asymmetrically weighted in PE, and with the added competitive element of PE, existing relational issues between girls are often exacerbated. Banter was engaged with by both FPE teachers and pupils, and viewed as generally positive, with FPE teachers describing banter as used to typically foster social bonds and disperse tension. Primarily, banter was used more between teachers, older pupils, and ‘sporty’ girls. Bullying and negative peer interactions were rife within changing rooms, often unmonitored and unvetted, as girls rely on fewer external constraints to regulate social interaction. This included the use of physical violence, challenging some existing knowledge on the ways girls engage in bullying behaviours. These findings were related critically to FPE teacher responses with regard to roles and responsibilities.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Status: Published
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0557 Sports
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7078

University Staff: Request a correction | RaY Editors: Update this record