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A comparative analysis of gender disparities in British football and British athletics

McGuigun, Donna Louise (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to demonstrate the insidious reproduction of gender norms in contemporary sporting arenas. The focus on elite sport derives from the work of Veblen who places a significant faith in the ability of elite sport to impact and transform sport at all levels, also commonly known as the ‘trickle-down effect’. As such, this work compares the organisation of British athletics and football at administrative level, the gendered media coverage of these sports, as well as the public perceptions of sport and gender. The thesis borrows from the work of Pirinen, who claims that the struggle to secure gender equality in sport is far from over. Utilising a triangulation of data, the research incorporates the following three methods; Semi-structured interview, online questionnaires and a content and discourse media analysis. The research concerns itself with attitudes and behaviours associated with gender and thus endeavour to expose the attitudes of sportsmen and women, whilst also stressing the relationship and importance of the media and the administrative bodies of sport. This work problematise’s the gendered ideology surrounding sport; ideologies which regard women and men as having a fixed biological and psychological nature that are essentially different. In other words, this thesis contends that a gendered ideology in sport works in the continued reproduction and construction of binary differences between men and women. This thesis criticises elite sport for naturalising such gendered differences and, most importantly, for the way in which sport has been linked to hegemonic masculinity. Overall, the main aim of this work is to uncover the exclusionary practices in sport which reproduce naturalised gender(ed) categories.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Foster, Emma
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Languages, Culture, Art History and Music
Subjects:GV Recreation Leisure
HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:2928
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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