Waikato Journal of Education


This paper examines the contradictions of femininity and physicality by focusing on body narratives and the lived effects of physical experiences. In particular it focuses on the classic problem of inhibited movement and lack of force or skill in the dominant female physicality of emphasized femininity. It concentrates on understanding certain specific experiences of femininity'”such as feeling 'utterly useless''”as embedded in the social production of physicality. Women interviewed for a study on physicality and empowerment give some insight into how physicality changes when they describe moments of physical consciousness in their lives. Once they feel and come to know their own physicality, they can also uncover the conditions which produced it. Examples of 'physical moments' are interpreted briefly with a discussion of their significance in the research process itself. As defining points in lived experience, physical moments help educators, theorists and researchers to understand the ways in which physicality is socially and subjectively produced.

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