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'Still Struggling After All These Years?': The Representation of Sportswomen in Middle-brow British Newspapers 2008-2009

Pressland, Amy (2012) 'Still Struggling After All These Years?': The Representation of Sportswomen in Middle-brow British Newspapers 2008-2009. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

It is widely acknowledged by scholars of sport media that female athletes are largely under-represented in all forms of news coverage. It is also commonly stated that sports media coverage has a tendency to infantilize, sexualize and marginalize sportswomen and their performances. At the same time there has been a growing number of studies (King 2007; Kian et al 2009; Mackay and Dallaire 2009) in recent years which suggest that sports media coverage is achieving, or close to achieving, gender parity. Such claims are often based on media coverage during major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games. This thesis will explore these claims over a two-year period. The semi-longitudinal approach, not previously undertaken in similar research, will provide the opportunity to investigate whether these claims of gender parity are sustained when investigating day-to-day reporting in selected British newspapers in 2008 and 2009. The thesis investigates the representation of sportswomen in the British print media 2008-2009. Based on archival research of five Sunday national newspapers, three broadsheets (The Sunday Times, The Observer and The Sunday Telegraph) and two tabloids (the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Express), and using content analysis this investigation contributes new knowledge to the field of sport, gender and media with its original timeframe, newspaper sample and findings. 22,954 news articles and 25,717 photographs were collected and constitute the quantitative data set which sets the scene for understanding how sportswomen are reported on, how coverage of sportswomen is organised and dominant themes within the quantitative representation. The qualitative data set of 172 news items explores in greater detail how sportswomen are represented in three thematic chapters on the construction of bodies, the media discourse of inequality and the use of stereotypes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Women's Studies (York)
Depositing User: Amy Pressland
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2012 12:32
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:51
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3155

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