University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Gender inequality in sport: perceptions and experiences of generation Z

Schaillée, H., Derome, I, Solenes, O., Straume, S., Burgess, Beth, Jones, Vanessa and Renfree, Gillian ORCID: (2021) Gender inequality in sport: perceptions and experiences of generation Z. Sport, Education and Society, 26 (9). pp. 1011-1025. ISSN Print: 1357-3322 Online: 1470-1243

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Research on Generation Z’s (Gen Z) sport education is limited in scope. This study explores Gen Z’s perceptions of gender equity in sport, with a focus on topic areas that warrant attention in sport management higher education courses to increase awareness around gender inequality. This study of Gen Z students across four European countries, including Belgium, Norway, Netherlands and England, was conducted through eight focus groups. The 54 participants, all born after 1995, were enrolled in an (under)graduate sport programme. Through a thematic analysis, we identified four distinct, yet inter-related themes, and explored their link to the interacting processes from Acker’s work (1990. Hierarchies, jobs, bodies: A theory of gendered organizations. Gender and Society, 4(2), 139–158). Results indicate that intercultural differences exist. Participants demonstrate an awareness of gender inequality in the media and in school sport, while also illustrating how disparities are shaped in school and sport contexts. These findings are encouraging for developing further social transformation, as awareness is the first hurdle to overcome when working towards social change. Awareness around gender inequality could further be increased in higher education by focusing on knowledge gaps found in this study such as the underrepresentation of women in coaching positions or officiating roles, the lower status job roles congruent to traditional gender norms and the use of quota schemes. The results of this study are relevant for sport and physical education scholars to address and continue challenging traditional gender stereotypes and beliefs as well as foster career and leadership aspirations for the next generation of prospective employees.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

From a forthcoming special edition: Sport Volunteering, Educational Leadership and Social Transformation: Approaches, Practices and Contemporary Critique.

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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Gen Z, gender equality, sport, higher education
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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Depositing User: Gill Renfree
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2021 07:58
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 01:00

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