Champions, a Celebrity Crossover, and a Capitulator: The Construction of Gender in Broadsheet Newspapers’ Narratives About Selected Competitors at Wimbledon

in International Journal of Sport Communication

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John VincentUniversity of Alabama, USA

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Jane CrossmanLakehead University, Canada

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This study compared the narratives of 3 broadsheet newspapers of selected female and male tennis players competing in the Wimbledon Championships. From Canada, The Globe and Mail; from Great Britain, The Times; and from the United States, The New York Times were examined. Dominant narratives were identified from 161 articles taken from 44 newspaper editions during the 16-day period coinciding with the Wimbledon Championships fortnight. Drawing on Connell’s (1987, 1993, 2005) theory of gender power relations, textual analysis was used to examine the gendered narratives and, where it was applicable, how the gendered narratives intersected with race, age, and nationality. The results revealed that although the gendered narratives were at times complex and contradictory, they were generally consistent with dominant cultural patriarchal ideology and served to reiterate and legitimize the gender order.

Vincent is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, jvincent@bamaed.ua.edu. Crossman is with the School of Kinesiology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E1.

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