This chapter aims to discover the impact of contemporary perceptions of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ on the experiences, beliefs and actions of female university athletes. In doing so, this chapter discusses the experiences of 12 university female athletes to explore gender hegemony and gender politics in British university sport. Structures that influence people’s beliefs and perceptions are explored, specifically looking at the notions of hegemony, hegemonic masculinity, and how political and civil society spread ideas to make them the norm. These concepts are used to critically reflect upon the emergent themes from semi-structured interviews held with female athletes. In particular, consideration is given to: 1) what the words ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ mean to them, 2) how they believe their peers perceive female athletes, 3) their experiences in sport as a female throughout their life and at university. These themes allow scope to critically reflect upon gender roles and relations in university sport whilst creating opportunities to consider how university sport cultures can be enhanced to ensure equality between females and males within this domain.
Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-12-16
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