Advertisement

Feminist Sports Media Studies: State of the Field

  • Dunja Antunovic
  • Erin Whiteside
Chapter
Part of the Comparative Feminist Studies book series (CFS)

Abstract

Feminist analyses have long informed studies of sports media by detecting and interrogating gender hierarchies and gendered expressions of power. In the current “postfeminist” media environment, women celebrate through individualized narratives of progress, but continue to face structural barriers as a group. To critically assess cultural shifts around women’s potential in sport and media, feminist scholars face a challenge and an opportunity to question underlying assumptions that have informed their analyses.

This chapter critically assesses three interconnected areas of research on women and sports media: representation, workplace cultures, and consumption/fandom. Further, the chapter provides theoretical insights into future directions in feminist sports media research and discusses implications for the field.

References

  1. Acosta, R. Vivian, and Linda Jean Carpenter. 2014. Women in Intercollegiate Sport: A Longitudinal Study—Thirty-Seven Year Update. Retrieved from http://www.acostacarpenter.org.
  2. Antunovic, Dunja, and Marie Hardin. 2012. Activism in Women’s Sports Blogs: Fandom and Feminist Potential. International Journal of Sport Communication 5: 305–322.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsc.5.3.305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ———. 2013. From Annihilation to Ambivalence: Women in Sports Coverage. In Media Disparity: A Gender Battleground, ed. Cory L. Armstrong, 71–84. Landham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  4. Barnett, Barbara, and Marie Hardin. 2011. Advocacy from the Liberal Feminist Playbook: The Framing of Title IX and Women’s Sports in News Releases from the Women’s Sports Foundation. International Journal of Sport Communication 4: 178–197.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsc.4.2.178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernstein, Alina. 2002. Is It Time for a Victory Lap? Changes in the Media Coverage of Women’s Sport. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 37: 415–428.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690202037004022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Birrell, Susan, and Mary G. McDonald. 2012. Break Points: Narrative Interruption in the Life of Billie Jean King. Journal of Sport and Social Issues 36: 343–360.  https://doi.org/10.1177/019372351244220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2003. New Racism,’ Color-Blind Racism, and the Future of Whiteness in America. In White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism, ed. Ashley W. Doane and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, 271–284. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Bruce, Toni. 2014. Us and Them: The Influence of Discourse of Nationalism on Media Coverage of the Paralympics. Disability & Society 29: 1443–1459.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2013.816624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. ———. 2016. New Rules for New Times: Sportswomen and Media Representation in the Third Wave. Sex Roles 74: 361–376.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-015-0497-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bruce, Toni, and Marie Hardin. 2014. Reclaiming Our Voices: Sportswomen and Social Media. In Routledge Handbook of Sport and New Media, ed. Andrew C. Billings and Marie Hardin, 774–795. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Carter, Cynthia, Linda Steiner, and Lisa McLaughlin. 2014. Introduction: Re-Imagining Media and Gender. In The Routledge Companion to Media & Gender, 1–19. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Cikara, Mina, and Susan Fiske. 2008. Warmth, Competence, and Ambivalent Sexism: Vertical Assault and Collateral Damage. In The Glass Ceiling of the 21st Century: Understanding Barriers to Gender Equality, ed. Manuela da Costa Barreto, Michelle K. Ryan, and Michael T. Schmitt, 73–96. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.Google Scholar
  13. Claringbould, Inge, Annelies Knoppers, and Agnes Elling. 2004. Exclusionary Practices in Sport Journalism. Sex Roles 52: 709–718.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-004-0720-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Collins, Patricia Hill. 1990. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Connell, R.W., and James W. Messerschmidt. 2005. Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept. Gender & Society 19: 829–859.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243205278639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cooky, Cheryl, Michael A. Messner, and Michela Musto. 2015. “It’s Dude Time!” A Quarter Century of Excluding Women’s Sports in Televised News and Highlights Shows. Communication & Sport 3: 261–287.  https://doi.org/10.1177/2167479515588761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cooper, Roger, and Tang Tang. 2012. Fans, Nonfans, and the Olympics: Predictors of Audience’s Multiplatform Experience with the 2008 Beijing Games. Mass Communication & Society 15: 506–524.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2012.677093.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cramer, Judith. 1994. Conversations with Women Sports Journalists. In Women, Media and Sport: Challenging Gender Values, ed. Pamela Creedon, 159–180. Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Crenshaw, Kimberle. 1991. Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color. Stanford Law Review 43: 1241–1299.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1229039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Deitsch, Richard. 2015. Sports Illustrated Media Awards Best and Worst of 2015. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved from http://www.si.com/more-sports/2015/12/21/si-sports-media-awards-2015
  21. Dolance, Susannah. 2005. “A Whole Stadium Full”: Lesbian Community at Women’s National Basketball Association Games. Journal of Sex Research 42: 74–83.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490509552259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Douglas, D. Delia, and Katherine M. Jamieson. 2006. A Farewell to Remember: Interrogating the Nancy Lopez Farewell Tour. Sociology of Sport Journal 23: 117–141.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.23.2.117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Duncan, Margaret Carlisle. 2006. Gender Warriors in Sport: Women and the Media. In Handbook of Sports and Media, ed. Arthur Raney and Jennings Bryant, 247–269. Mahweh: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  24. Duncan, Margaret Carlisle, and Cynthia A. Hasbrook. 1988. Denial of Power in Televised Women’s Sports. Sociology of Sport Journal 5: 1–21.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.5.1.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Esmonde, Katelyn, Cheryl Cooky, and David L. Andrews. 2015. “It’s Supposed to Be About the Love of the Game, not the Love of Aaron Rodgers’ Eyes”: Challenging the Exclusions of Women’s Sports Fans. Sociology of Sport Journal 32: 22–48.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2014-0072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gantz, Walter, and Lawrence A. Wenner. 1995. Fanship and Television Sports Viewing Experience. Sociology of Sport Journal 12: 56–74.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.12.1.56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gill, Rosalind. 2008. Culture and Subjectivity in Neoliberal and Postfeminist Times. Subjectivity 25: 432–445.  https://doi.org/10.1057/sub.2008.28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hardin, Marie, and Erin Whiteside. 2009. Token Responses to Gendered Newsrooms. Factors in the Career-Related Decisions of Female Newspaper Sports Journalists. Journalism 10: 627–646.  https://doi.org/10.1177/14648849090100050501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. ———. 2012a. From Second Wave to Poststructural Feminism: Evolving Frameworks for Viewing Representations of Women’s Sports. In International Companion to Media Studies: Content, ed. Sharon R. Mazzarella, 116–136. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  30. ———. 2012b. Consequences of Being the “Team Mom”: Women in Sports Information and the Friendliness Trap. Journal of Sport Management 26: 309–321.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.26.4.309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. ———. 2012c. How Do Women Talk Sports? Women Sports Fans in a Blog Community. In Sport and its female fans, ed. Kim Toffoletti and Peter Mewett, 152–168. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Hardin, Marie, Stacie Shain, and Kelly Schultz-Poniatowski. 2008. “There’s No Sex Attached to Your Occupation”: The Revolving Door for Young Women in Sports Journalism. Women in Sport & Physical Activity Journal 17: 68–79.  https://doi.org/10.1123/wspaj.17.1.68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Harris, Anita. 2004. All About the Girl: Culture, Power, and Identity. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Heinecken, Dawn. 2015. “So Tight on the Tights, So Loose in the Waist”: Embodying the Female Athlete Online. Feminist Media Studies 15: 1035–1052.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2015.1033638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hesse-Biber, Sharlene Nagy. 2007. The Practice of Feminist In-Depth Interviewing. In Feminist Research Practice: A Primer, ed. Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber and Patricia Leavy, 111–149. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ho, Michelle H.S. 2017. Tracing Tears and Triple Axels: Media Representations of Japan’s Women’s Figure Skaters. International Journal of Cultural Studies 20: 620–635.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1367877915603760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Holland, Kathryn J., and Lilia M. Cortina. 2016. Sexual Harassment: Undermining the Wellbeing of Working Women. In Handbook on Well-Being of Working Women, ed. Mary L. Connerley and Jiyun Wu, 83–101. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kane, Mary Jo. 1988. Media Coverage of the Female Athlete Before, During and After Title IX: ‘Sports Illustrated’ Revisited. Journal of Sport Management 2: 87–99.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.2.2.87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. ———. 1989. The Post-Title IX Female Athlete in the Media: Things are Changing, but How Much? Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance 60: 58–62.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07303084.1989.10603973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kane, Mary Jo, Nicole M. LaVoi, and Janet S. Fink. 2013. Exploring Elite Female Athletes’ Interpretations of Sport Media Images: A Window into the Construction of Social Identity and “Selling Sex” in Women’s Sports. Communication & Sport 1: 269–298.  https://doi.org/10.1177/2167479512473585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kim, Eunyi, Barbara J. Walkosz, and Joel Iverson. 2006. USA Today’s Coverage of the Top Women Golfers, 1998–2001. Howard Journal of Communications 17: 307–321.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10646170600966550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ličen, Simon, and Andrew C. Billings. 2013. Cheering for “Our” Champs by Watching “Sexy” Female Throwers: Representation of Nationality and Gender in Slovenian 2008 Summer Olympic Television Coverage. European Journal of Communication 28: 379–396.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0267323113484438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. MacKay, Steph, and Christine Dallaire. 2012. Skirtboarder Net-a-Narratives: Young Women Creating Their Own Skateboarding (Re)representations. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 48: 171–195.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690211432661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Markovits, Andrei S., and Emily K. Albertson. 2012. Sportista: Female Fandom in the United States. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Markula, Pirkko. 2003. The Technologies of the Self: Sport, Feminism, and Foucault. Sociology of Sport Journal 20: 87–107.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.20.2.87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McDonald, Mary G. 2002. Queering Whiteness: The Peculiar Case of the Women’s National Basketball Association. Sociological Perspectives 45: 379–396.  https://doi.org/10.1525/sop.2002.45.4.379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McKay, James, and Helen Johnson. 2008. Pornographic Eroticism and Sexual Grotesquerie in Representations of African American Sportswomen. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture 14: 491–504.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13504630802211985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McLaughlin, Heather, Christopher Uggen, and Amy Blackstone. 2012. Sexual Harassment, Workplace Authority, and the Paradox of Power. American Sociological Review 77: 625–647.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122412451728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Meehan, Eileen R., and Ellen Riordan. 2002. Sex and Money: Feminism and Political Economy in the Media. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  50. Merrill, Kenneth, Aidan Bryant, Emily Dolan, and Siying Chang. 2015. The Male Gaze and Online Sports Punditry: Reactions to the Ines Sainz Controversy on the Sports Blogosphere. Journal of Sport & Social Issues 39: 40–60.  https://doi.org/10.1177/019372351245592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Messner, Michael A. 1988. Sports and Male Domination: The Female Athlete as a Contested Ideological Terrain. Sociology of Sport Journal 5: 197–211.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.5.3.197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Miloch, Kimberly S., Paul M. Pedersen, Michael K. Smucker, and Warren A. Whisenant. 2005. The Current State of Women Print Journalists: An Analysis of the Status and Careers of Females in Newspaper Sports Departments. Public Organization Review: A Global Journal 5: 219–231.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11115-005-3499-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Muller, Tiffany. 2007. “Lesbian Community” in Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Spaces. Social & Cultural Geography 8: 9–28.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14649360701251502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. North, Louise. 2016. The Gender of “Soft” and “Hard” News: Female Journalists’ Views on Gendered Story Allocations. Journalism Studies 17: 356–373.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2014.987551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pope, Stacey. 2012. “The Love of My Life”: The Meaning and Importance of Sport for Female Fans. Journal of Sport and Social Issues 37: 176–195.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723512455919.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Savigny, Heather, and Helen Warner. 2015. The Politics of Being a Woman: Feminism, Media and 21st Century Popular Culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Schell, Lea Ann, and Stephanie Rodriguez. 2001. Subverting Bodies/Ambivalent Representations: Media Analysis of Paralympian, Hope Lewellen. Sociology of Sport Journal 18: 127–135.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.18.1.127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schultz, Jaime. 2014. Qualifying Times: Points of Change in U.S. Women Sport. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  59. Schultz, Jaime, and Andrew D. Linden. 2014. From Ladies’ Days to Women’s Initiatives: American Pastimes and Distaff Consumption. International Journal of the History of Sport 31: 156–180.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2013.858246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Scranton, Sheila, and Anne Flintoff. 2002. Sport Feminism: The Contribution of Feminist Thought to Our Understandings of Gender and Sport. In Gender and Sport: A Reader, ed. Sheila Scranton, 30–46. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  61. Thorpe, Holly. 2008. Foucault, Technologies of Self, and the Media: Discourses of Femininity in Snowboarding Culture. Journal of Sport & Social Issues 32: 199–229.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723508315206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Toffoletti, Kim. 2016. Analyzing Media Representations of Sportswomen—Expanding the Conceptual Boundaries Using a Postfeminist Sensibility. Sociology of Sport Journal 33: 199–207.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2015-0136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Toffoletti, Kim, and Peter Mewett. 2012. Sport and Its Female Fans. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Tuchman, Gaye. 1978. Introduction: The Symbolic Annihilation of Women by the Mass Media. In Hearth and Home: Images of Women in the Mass Media, ed. Gaye Tuchman, Arlene Kaplan Daniels, and James Benét, 3–38. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  65. Wenner, Lawrence A. 2012. From Football Widow to Fan: Web Narratives of Women and Sports Spectatorship. In Sports Fans, Identity, and Socialization Exploring the Fandemonium, ed. Adam C. Eearnheardt, Paul M. Haridakis, and Barbara S. Hugenberg, 203–220. Lanham: Lexington.Google Scholar
  66. Whisenant, Warren, John Vincent, Paul Pedersen, and Ryan K. Zapalac. 2007. An Analysis of Homologous Reproduction in Interscholastic Athletics. Advancing Women in Leadership 25: 1–8.Google Scholar
  67. Whiteside, Erin, and Marie Hardin. 2012. On Being a “Good Sport” in the Workplace: Women, the Glass Ceiling and Negotiated Resignation in Sports Information. International Journal of Sports Communication 5: 51–68.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsc.5.1.51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. ———. 2011. “I Don’t Feel Like I’m Up Against a Wall of Men!” Negotiating Difference, Identity and the Glass Ceiling in Sports Information. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport 4: 210–226.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.4.2.210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wolter, Sarah. 2015. A Critical Discourse Analysis of espnW: Divergent Dialogues and Postfeminist Conceptions of Female Fans and Female Athletes. International Journal of Sport Communication 8: 345–370.  https://doi.org/10.1123/IJSC.2015-0040.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. van Zoonen, Liesbet. 2015. Foreword. In The Politics of Being a Woman: Feminism, Media and 21st Century Popular Culture, ed. Heather Savigny and Helen Warner. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bradley UniversityPeoriaUSA
  2. 2.University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations