“You Go Girl!”: Twitter and Conversations About Sport Culture and Gender

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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On August 5, 2014, the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) made history by hiring Becky Hammon as the first full-time, paid assistant coach in mainstream North American sport. Hammon’s hiring provided an impetus to examine how Twitter opened avenues for discussions around gender in sport culture to generate and permeate. Using Radian6 social media extraction software a sample of 1,434 tweets were obtained. A thematic analysis was conducted and revealed three themes: (a) opening the space for conversation; (b) offering evidence of sport cultural change; and (c) expressing resistance to sport cultural change. The results suggest that Twitter functions as a space where aspects of sport culture are disseminated and contested in ways that transcend traditional media’s treatment of these topics. As people share content that is personally meaningful and relevant and participate in shared conversations about sport cultural issues, it invites them to engage in active citizenry through joining in these discussions.

Sanderson is with Clemson Online, Clemson University, Clemson, SC. Gramlich is with WCCP 105.5 FM, Clemson, SC.

Address author correspondence to Jimmy Sanderson at jsande6@clemson.edu.
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