1 Sport, Individual & Society, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Sport, Individual & Society, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
On women and football
On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, a leading figure in the sociology of sport in Denmark, Gertrud Pfister, considers an important line of research on women and football (soccer). The analysis uses a diverse set of theoretical lenses to examine women’s participation and reception in football. Constructivist understandings of gender are combined with notions of ‘leaky hegemony’, socialization, habitus, taste and social fields. The trajectory of inquiry on women and football necessarily builds from recognition of ‘leaks’ in hegemonic masculinity and the entrenched naturalization of football as a male social field. Women’s football gained hold in scholarly inquiry with comparative studies of participation, experiences, and policies in diverse national settings. Challenges in the area of women’s participation and legitimacy in football are rooted in persistent stereotyping and a related paucity of resources. Key questions remain in explaining women’s growing involvement in football and in understanding key areas, such as media coverage, where equity would contribute to legitimizing women’s achievements and advancing public acceptance. In looking to the future, a key role for the sociology of sport will be in stimulating understandings of women and football that can lead to policy change and more equitable allocation of resources to support and encourage participation.
International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 2015, Vol 50, Issue 4-5, p. 563-569