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Lesbian Athletes in the Media: Ambivalence, Scrutiny and Invisibility

Bullingham, Rachael and Postlethwaite, Verity (2018) Lesbian Athletes in the Media: Ambivalence, Scrutiny and Invisibility. In: 3rd Sport and Discrimination Conference, 4th September 2018, Oxford Brookes. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The presentation will provide an overview of academic literature from a range of disciplines, which have considered the role and positions of athletes, women and lesbians in and around sport media; the academic debate will be supported and challenged through empirical illustrations from two contemporary lesbian athletes and their portrayal in the media. Specifically, the cases of Casey Stoney and Megan Rapinoe two openly gay female elite soccer players who have played professionally and represented their respective national teams. The two athletes are a similar age and have a similar experience in terms of the media, political and cultural time periods and the comparison builds upon other trans-Atlantic comparative media studies. The presentation will acknowledge the historical context, academic literature and contemporary empirical illustrations will provide an opportunity to support and challenge the burgeoning debate around lesbian athletes in the media, in particular, around the themes of: ambivalence, scrutiny and invisibility of the athletes or their sexuality. Additionally, it will analyse the assumptions that the media portrays lesbian athletes and their sexual identity through: contradictory ideas, critical observations and ignorance will be substantively explored. This presentation will examine the current debates around women in the sporting media before linking it with sexuality. The discussion on women sport and media will predominately be based on print media (which can consumed online) rather than social media. The use of case studies will acknowledge the changing nature of the print media in relation to two openly lesbian athletes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Uncontrolled Keywords: women in sports media, public lesbian coverage, athletes, sport
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Sport and Exercise Science
Depositing User: Rachael Bullingham
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2018 12:53
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2018 12:54
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7048

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