Researchers from diverse methodological and disciplinary orientations contribute to making the curriculum research-informed and will assess Pesas y Poder’s multifaceted impact on short-term individual indicators of trauma, self-efficacy and wellness, as well as the long-term community potential for shifting local notions of masculinity and femininity.
However, our research work does not stop at program development and evaluation. We also engage in critical scholarship about the politics and social dimensions of fitness, violence, body image, and gender for men, women, and non-binary identifying individuals.
Centered on a feminist approach to analysis, the team asks questions such as: Does athletic practice lead to a societal re-imagination of gendered bodies and a community-wide reinterpretation of the lived experience of gendered violence? Do these initiatives have an impact beyond the gym participants, contributing to a sense of solidarity and promoting wellness in the broader community? Does the social space of the gym change community boundaries, potentially increasing inclusion? How can the program address public health concerns, such as diabetes, without reifying fat stigma or body shame? Thus, in addition to applied work, researchers will also analyze broader patterns of injustice and resistance.