1st Edition

Women, Sport and Exercise in the Asia-Pacific Region Domination, Resistance, Accommodation

Edited By Gyozo Molnar, Sara N. Amin, Yoko Kanemasu Copyright 2019
    274 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Although socio-cultural issues in relation to women within the fields of sport and exercise have been extensively researched, this research has tended to concentrate on the Western world. Women, Sport and Exercise in the Asia-Pacific Region moves the conversation away entirely from Western contexts to discuss these issues with a sole focus on the geographic Asia-Pacific region.

    Presenting a diverse range of empirical case studies, from bodybuilding in Kazakhstan and Thailand, karate in Afghanistan, and women’s rugby in Fiji to women’s soccer in North Korea and netball in Papua New Guinea, the book demonstrates how sports may be used as a lens to examine the historical, socio-cultural and political specificities of non-Western and post-colonial societies. It also explores the complex ways in which non-Western women resist as well as accommodate sport and exercise-related sociocultural oppression, helping us to better understand the nexus of sport, exercise, gender, sexuality and power in the Asia-Pacific area.

    This is a fascinating and important resource for students of sports studies, sports management, sport development, social sciences and gender studies, as well as an excellent read for academics and researchers with an interest in sport, exercise, gender and post-colonial studies.

    1 Introduction: Rest and the West – present absence of non-Western research

    Gyozo Molnar, Sara N. Amin and Yoko Kanemasu

    Part I Nation-building and Nationalism

    2 Women, Sport and Gender Politics in Taiwan

    Ying Chiang and Alan Bairner

    3 The politics of female football in North Korea: socialism, nationalism, and propaganda

    Jung Woo Lee

    4 Resurgence of ethnic sports in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan: Still hunting for women

    Elena Kim and Elena Molchanova

    5 Her ‘Soldiering’ On: Female Athletes in Combat Sports Negotiating Thailand’s Gender Politics

    Sukritaya Jukping

    Part II Sport, Physical Activity and Empowerment

    6 "The right way for me to do things for me": Experiences of some Afghan women in entering and practicing karate

    Sara N. Amin

    7 Going It Alone and Strong: Athletic Indo-Fijian Women and Everyday Resistance Yoko Kanemasu

    8 Girls and Sports in Samoa: Culture, Policy and Practice in Urban and Rural Communities

    Suzie Schuster and Penelope Schoeffel

    9 Discursive Construction of Athletic Nutrition in Bodybuilding: from Ideology to Pharmacology of the Female body in Kazakhstan

    Zhanar Sekerbayeva

    Part III Challenges, Change and Development

    10 Fiji's Women Rugby Players: Finding Motivation in a ‘Hostile’ Environment
    Yoko Kanemasu, James Johnson and Gyozo Molnar

    11 Improving water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and women’s participation in netball in Papua New Guinea

    Lua Rikis, Leentje Be’Soer, Joanna Lamb, Emily Ryan and Stephanie Franet

    12 Women’s Sports in Japan: Enters a Period of Change

    Osamu Takamine

    13 Women and sports in the Solomon Islands

    Jeremy Dorovolomo, Billy Fito’o, Jack Maebuta, Patrick Miniti and Gordon Nanau

    14 Increasing mobility and visibility of women and adolescent girls through a sport- based gender intervention in low-income communities in Mumbai

    Madhumita Das, Shweta Bankar and Ravi Verma

    Part IV Transnationality and Globalisation

    15 Reconstructing body and mind: Narratives of health and wellbeing in self-help books from global East Asia

    Daniel Nehring

    16 Forging a new research imagination regarding Chinese girls’ physical activity

    Bonnie Pang


    Gyozo Molnar is Principal Lecturer in Sport Studies at the University of Worcester, United Kingdom and was Reviews Editor for the Sport in Society journal. His current publications and research revolve around migration, globalisation, national identity, the drive for muscularity and feminist methodologies.

    Sara N. Amin is Lecturer of Sociology at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji. She was the Co-Principal Investigator on a multi-country research study examining how gender relations in Muslim families in South Asia are being negotiated as women’s opportunities for education and employment expanded between 2013 and 2017. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, migration and identity.

    Yoko Kanemasu is Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji, where she teaches feminism, social theory, and research methodology. She was one of the convenors of the first academic conference to focus on rugby in the Pacific region, Fiji Rugby Centenary Conference: Reflections on the Past, Present and Future, held at the University of the South Pacific in 2013.