Activism in Women’s Sports Blogs: Fandom and Feminist Potential

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Dunja Antunovic Penn State University, USA

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Marie Hardin Penn State University, USA

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The emergence of social media has provided a space for discourse and activism about sports that traditional media outlets tend to ignore. Using a feminist theoretical lens, a textual analysis of selected blogs on the Women Talk Sports blog network was conducted to determine how fandom and advocacy for women’s sports were expressed in blog posts. The analysis indicated that bloggers enhance the visibility of women’s sports, but their engagement with social issues varies. Some bloggers may reproduce hegemonic norms around sports and gendered sporting bodies, while others may offer a more critical, decidedly feminist view and challenge dominant ideologies. While the blogosphere, and particularly networks such as Women Talk Sports, can serve as a venue for activism around women’s sports and the representation of athletic bodies, its potential to do so may be unmet without a more critical perspective by participants.

Antunovic is with the College of Communications, Penn State University, University Park, PA. Hardin is with the Dept. of Journalism, Penn State University, University Park, PA.

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