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Active BodiesA History of Women’s Physical Education in Twentieth-Century America$
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Martha H. Verbrugge

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168792

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168792.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Justice in the Gym

Chapter:
(p.253) Conclusion
Source:
Active Bodies
Author(s):

Martha H. Verbrugge

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168792.003.0010

The conclusion reviews the major changes in American physical education across the twentieth century as well as persistent controversies and challenges. Foremost is the field’s continuing preoccupation with “difference” and its practices that thwart, rather than facilitate, justice in the gym. The conclusion attributes this problem to systemic obstacles in American society as well as physical education’s unique power to insert discourses of the body and difference into daily life. Throughout the twentieth century, however, some white and black physical educators took more progressive stances; they dispensed with conventional binaries of difference, attached human diversity to history and culture rather than biology, and insisted that “difference” become a creative force in the gym, not an obstacle to be ignored or overcome.

Keywords:   body, difference, justice

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