Female PE teachers in Ireland: An emancipating commitment?

Research papers
By Élise Awaïda Carton, Stéphanie Carpentier

By analyzing women’s commitment to teaching physical education (PE) in Ireland, we discuss experiences of women working in foreign countries. In a Catholic country where the church has a major stranglehold on education, the values of the family unit established around the figure of the mother are part of the construction of a particular society. However, PE teachers display a commitment that disrupts these values by putting the body at stake. Using a qualitative sociological approach, we attempt to understand the justification processes of these teachers using the concept of commitment (Becker), and also try to categorize the terms of their commitment using a typology (Weber). Interpreting the data enabled us to identify what triggers these women’s commitment: their sporting experience. We were also able to establish a typology of their commitment to sport: the “heiress,” the professional practitioner, and the “chosen one.” Becoming a female PE teacher may be akin to an act carried out for many purposes: the legitimation of a non-compulsory discipline, the teaching of a body culture for all students, and the quest for a specific posture that would allow one to become emancipated “by way of the body.”

  • Women
  • commitment
  • physical education
  • Ireland
  • typology.
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info