Re-establishing the ‘outsiders’: English press coverage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup

BLACK, Jack and FIELDING-LLOYD, Beth (2017). Re-establishing the ‘outsiders’: English press coverage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. (In Press)

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Abstract

In 2015, the England Women’s national football team finished third at the Women’s World Cup in Canada. Alongside the establishment of the Women’s Super League in 2011, the success of the women’s team posed a striking contrast to the recent failures of the England men’s team and in doing so presented a timely opportunity to examine the negotiation of hegemonic discourses on gender, sport and football. Drawing upon an ‘established-outsider’ approach, this article examines how, in newspaper coverage of the England women’s team, gendered constructions revealed processes of alteration, assimilation and resistance. Rather than suggesting that ‘established’ discourses assume a normative connection between masculinity and football, the findings reveal how gendered ‘boundaries’ were both challenged and protected in newspaper coverage. Despite their success, the discursive positioning of the women’s team as ‘outsiders’, served to (re)establish men’s football as superior, culturally salient and ‘better’ than the women’s team/game. Accordingly, we contend that attempts to build and, in many instances, rediscover the history of women’s football, can be used to challenge established cultural representations that draw exclusively from the history of the men’s game. In such instances, the 2015 Women’s World Cup provides a historical moment from which the women’s game can be relocated in a context of popular culture.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science
Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Sociology, Politics and Policy Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1177/1012690217706192
Depositing User: Jack Black
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2017 08:49
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2017 19:10
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15479

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