Changing subcultures from old roles to new identities : an analysis of gender through the emergence of women in drag racing / by Amanda R. Sundell.
Sundell, Amanda R.
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This is a study in interpretive and critical sociology of the experiences of women in drag racing. The purpose of this study is to examine and give voice to women's gendered experiences in drag racing. The methodology includes participant observation and key informant interviews. Analyzing the use of space at the drag racing event reveals its gendered social norms. Case studies of professional racers such as Shirley Muldowney and Danica Patrick are contrasted with the experiences of the interviewees in order to examine gender at all levels of the sport. Social relationships have both constrained and empowered women’s participation in sport. Women participate in many different roles within the drag racing event - as supporters of male racers, sexual objects for advertisements, administrators, and as racers. While most racers are male and racing itself is seen as masculine, women have begun to challenge gender roles and ideals within drag racing through their participation as racers.