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Stretching the Limits: journalism and gender politics in women’s sport

Blue, A. (2010). Stretching the Limits: journalism and gender politics in women’s sport. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


My work on the sports pages of the Sunday Times led to invitations to write two books on the emergence of elite female champions and two unauthorized biographies of female champions, all of which included original data and analysis of gender issues in sport. One of the first academic, self-reflective analyses by a sports journalist, this dissertation written for the PhD by prior publication, places my work in the context of the profession and considers my contribution to understanding how elite champions have used their agency in sport. Contributions in the works submitted include re-theorizing the ―feminine apologetic‖ with regard to elite champions, documentation and interpretation of agency and constraint in the career of Martina Navratilova, identifying and modelling the backlash role of gymnastics, and interrogating the gender frontier; all are critically analysed here. In this dissertation, issues of journalistic practice including the advantage of bias are considered, and the ―doping apologetic‖ is identified, named and preliminarily modelled. My work both benefits from and contributes to the cross-disciplinary, inter-linked analysis of women‘s sport in the social sciences and in sport and women's studies, and has been cited in the literature. Contravening conventionalist journalistic stereotyping of female champions, it documents and evaluates how champions have attempted to gain opportunity for themselves, and how their strategies may have affected the paradigm of femininity.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
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