Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Ecology

Document Type



The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how female collegiate volleyball athletes use dress and appearance practices to create, maintain, and negotiate their sport identity and gender identity, in-sport and everyday, from the time they played collegiate volleyball to present day. The study was guided by grounded theory and phenomenology. Semi-structured, in-depth, active qualitative interviews with 12 women, who represented American, Brazilian, Canadian, and Romanian viewpoints, were analyzed using open coding and thematic analysis procedures. Analysis revealed three key themes related to female collegiate volleyball athletes’ use of dress and appearance practices as a means to shape and influence their sport and gender identities: (a) conceptualizing the female collegiate volleyball culture as understood by dress and appearance, (b) female collegiate volleyball athlete subject formation, and (c) performing female collegiate volleyball athlete identities. Findings revealed that they used dress and appearance practices to understand their sport identity and gender identity when they played volleyball in college and that they currently use dress and appearance practices in their everyday lives as a way to understand their subject positions. Female collegiate volleyball athletes conceptualized their ways of understanding social and cultural expectations by using their dress and appearance practices and bodies as mediums for interpretation.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Marks, Loren



Included in

Human Ecology Commons