Conference Agenda

RN28_08: Gender and football
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Alessandro Porrovecchio, University of the Littoral Opal Coast
Location: BS.1.25
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, First Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


How Do Women Perform Their Roles as Women and Fans in the Stands? The Similarities and Differences Between Various Sectors of Football Stadiums

Honorata Jakubowska1, Dominik Antonowicz2, Radosław Kossakowski3

1Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland; 2Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland; 3University of Gdańsk, Poland

The aim of this presentation is to reveal the female fans’ performances on football stadiums by answering the following questions: (1) How do women perform their roles in the stands? (2) Do they construct their own scripts about being a fan and (3) Can one observe identity conflicts between being a fan and being a woman? As the theoretical framework for the analysis, the concept of ‘Performative Sport Fandom’ (Osborne, Coombs 2013) will be used.

Although female supporters’ behaviours have already been analysed by several authors (e.g. Stacey Pope and Carrie Dunn in the UK; Gertrud Pfister, Svenja Minter and Verena Lenneis in Denmark), they have been usually focused on one type of fans. Our approach takes into account the presence of female supporters in various sections of football stadiums—those for VIP, regular fans and staunch supporters. By exploring the various parts of the stadium separately, we investigate different segments of the fans’ population. We assume that female fans might be driven to different parts of the stadium (‘sub-worlds’ of fandom community) by various motivations, their experience of fans’ attitudes and behaviour can be distinctively different.

The presentation is based on a research project ‘Women entering the male-dominated world of football fans: causes, course and consequences’ financed by the National Science Centre (2016/21/B/HS6/00846).

Gender And Football: A New Age For Media Coverage of Women's Sport And Future Research Agendas

Stacey Pope

Durham University, United Kingdom

This paper examines English print media coverage of the England national women’s soccer (football) team during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. It draws theoretically upon Connell’s ‘gender order’, along with feminist thinking, building upon and extending existing studies on gender, media and sport. The methods draw on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of five English national newspapers from 24 May to 14 August 2015. Findings examine three main themes: the amount of coverage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup; task relevant themes (including skill of the players/team and comparisons to men’s football) and task irrelevant themes (including personal life and gendered hierarchy of naming and infantilization). A wide body of research has demonstrated that women’s sport is greatly underrepresented in the media and where such coverage does occur, a number of techniques are used to devalue their sporting achievements. But these findings are important as they demonstrate that during this tournament, women’s soccer received a significant amount of print media coverage and that this coverage was largely positive. We argue that we have entered a new age of media coverage of women’s sport in the UK, with a shift towards greater gender equality in sports media coverage.

I move on to consider future research agendas by overviewing further research in the area of gender and sport connected to my current AHRC funded project.