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The post war development of football for females in England : a cross cultural and comparative study with the United States of America and Norway

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posted on 23.09.2014, 15:13 by Donna Louise Woodhouse
This thesis charts, for the first time in any detail, the post Second World War history of football for females in England, examining the causes of the uneven growth of the female game. It also analyses the role of the media in gendering discourses around sport, especially football, and sets its discoveries against the histories of the female game in the USA and Norway. A raft of methods was used to generate data, including interviews with people involved in the female game from the 1940s, to the present day, and surveys of players, administrators and fans, in order for the thesis to arrive at its conclusions. The major finding of the thesis is that there is a lack of synergy between the national policy for female football and its local implementation in England, which stands in sharp contrast to the situations in the USA and Norway. Whilst the game has made unprecedented progress over the past decade, its continued growth in England is by no means guaranteed, as long as the structures of the governing body of the sport, the Football Association, remain as they are currently. The research has also discovered that press coverage of the sport operates within a framework of assumptions about what audiences wish to see and of what constitutes ‘female appropriate’ behaviour. It also demonstrates that the press invariably portrays the female sport in relation to the male professional game.


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Department of Sociology

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

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