Paradoxical Practices of Gender in Sport-Related Organizations

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 University of Utrecht
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The gender ratio of those in positions of leadership continues to be skewed toward a male majority. The purpose of this study is to explore how practices of gender may contribute to the lack of significant change in this skewed ratio in (sport) organizations. We situate our study within Martin’s (2003, 2006) notion of practices of gender. We conducted interviews with 15 sport journalists and 32 members of boards of governance of sport organizations to investigate how the skewed gender ratio was maintained and challenged by paradoxical practices of gender. The results show that practices of gender neutrality, normalcy and passivity strengthened and maintained the current gender skewness. We also give examples of disruptive practices that contributed to the undoing of gender in these organizations.

Claringbould and Knoppers are with the Dept. of USBO, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

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