Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Communication, Technology, and Society

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika

Committee Member

Dr. Travers Scott

Committee Member

Dr. Darren Linvill


Feminists are continually seeking methods of improving the lives of women, whether that is through fighting for women's rights, promoting embracing aspects of being a female, or discovering new methods of female empowerment. This research looks at the last of these by exploring the experiences of women who are within their first year of competitively playing women's flat track roller derby through a qualitative phenomenological study. In order to do this, eight women were interviewed from two competitive teams located in the southeast region of the United States. From these interviews, five categories of experience emerged as significant aspects of participating in roller derby: (1) Intimidation During the Initial Skating Experience, (2) Challenges of Learning New Skills, (3) Developing and Maintaining Relationships, (4) Feelings of Strength, and (5) Relieving Built-up Stress. These themes were analyzed in-depth using statements from the skaters to build an understanding of the experience of skating competitively for a women's roller derby team.



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