The Construction of Women’s Positions in Sport: A Textual Analysis of Articles on Female Athletes in Finnish Women’s Magazines

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Riitta M. Pirinen University of Tampere

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This study analyzed the treatment of female athletes in Finnish women’s magazines. The purpose was to examine how media representations constructed hierarchic relations between women. Furthermore, the aim was to examine how the construction and legitimation of the hierarchy between women and the gender hierarchy are interwoven with each other. Finally, the study discussed the possibilities to challenge, resist, and transform the ideological construction of these hierarchic relations. Briefly, the study demonstrated the ways in which media texts may both construct disempowering positions and also offer recourses of empowering positions for women.

Riitta M. Pirinen is with the Department of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Tampere, P.O. Box 607, 33101 Tampere, Finland.

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