Brain Politics: Gendered Difference and Traumatic Brain Injury in Sport

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Media coverage of high-profile lawsuits involving professional sport leagues in North America has helped to raise awareness of the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In response to the popular emphasis on men’s collision sports, this chapter examines gendered contours of concussion and TBI through a focus on how U.S.-based advocates and experts frame them in relation to women, highlighting their implications for understandings of TBI among participants in women’s sports. Specifically, it scrutinizes how efforts to capture and explain women’s experiences of TBI in popular, regulatory, and scientific narratives reveal complications between notions of sex and gender. It considers three domains of work carried out by advocates, clinicians, and researchers, elucidating the politics of sex/gender within each: (1) calls for sport-specific TBI policy and regulation; (2) explanations of sport-related TBI, and (3) scientific knowledge about TBI that informs—and is informed by—sport. The chapter concludes with a reflection on how different articulations of sex/gender operate constitutively in the shaping of concussion in women’s sport and the female athlete as a body. Building upon feminist research concerned with neuroscience and the brain, the analysis unpacks how gendered interpretations of science inform foundational understandings of the concussion crises in sport.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSociocultural Examinations of Sports Concussions
    Editors Matt Ventresca & Mary G McDonald
    Place of PublicationNew York
    ISBN (Print)9780429028175
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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