Who does set the standard? A gender perspective on a sport institutionalization process

By Renaud Allamano-Kessler, Anne Mione

In this contribution, we analyze the institutionalization of skateboarding through the lens of gender. Institutionalization is the emergence of accepted rules, recognized figures and generalized practices that define an activity. The officialization of skateboard as an Olympic sport for the 2020 Games is, in our view, an emblematic result of this process and we consider it by systematically analyzing the emergence and institutionalization of new tricks, spots and styles figures. This process is studied in relation to gender issues: we observe who creates the norm and what the impact of the new norms is. A long historical perspective and the in-depth examination of sites, blogs, vlogs has made it possible to identify several phases of mixing or non-mixing of the practitioners. We analyze the vectors of this evolution. Some are spontaneous; others voluntarily designed to bring diversity back. We emphasize that re-feminization goes through the non-mixed competitions. JEL Codes: M


  • institutionalization
  • norms
  • standards
  • gender
  • sport
  • skateboard
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