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New approaches for studies of Muslim women and sport

This article offers a new approach for examining Muslim women in sport, which combines the domains of sporting participation, consumption and representation. It proposes moving beyond a sports development paradigm and deficit model of sports participation, whereby marginal communities are incorporated into the mainstream by playing sport, to take account of other ways that people engage with sport as consumers and fans. Conceptually, this approach is informed by transnational feminist perspectives, which foreground the role of power hierarchies in the production of knowledge about the sporting female Other. It suggests that sport practitioners, scholars and policy makers pay greater theoretical attention to how Muslim women are constructed within sport discourses. By widening the research focus to consider consumption and representation, possibilities emerge to expand on the narrow research and policy fields of ‘ethnicity’ and ‘well-being’ focused on physical health outcomes through which Muslim women’s engagement with sport is commonly framed.