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Why Age Matters: Aged Gender in the Identity Work of Female Youth Athletes

  • Author(s): Hendley, Alexandra
  • et al.
Abstract

Functioning as our “social skin in social space,” clothing enables both the expression of pre-existing identities and the construction of new ones (Pomerantz 2008:18). Age and gender are important components of identity, and their intersection contributes to the varied nature of femininity. Through my research on female youth soccer players, I examine the relationship of sports clothing to the girls’ identity work, specifically in regards to their experience as aged and gendered subjects. In this paper I ask the following questions: 1) How might the clothing practices and preferences of nine- to thirteen-year old female soccer players reflect their presently held identities, and how do the girls choose or modify sports clothing in order to facilitate identity construction? 2) How and why does age matter when considering the girls’ gender identity, or their performance of femininity?

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