Socialization to Careers in Intercollegiate Athletics: A Comparison of Men and Women

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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In recent years, the field of sport management has witnessed a flurry of research on the career experiences of women in sport organizations. The perceived gendered nature of work and subsequent segregation of positions in a sport organization implies men and women pursue or align career paths based on gender. There are few studies, however, that explore how men and women select a career in sport management. This paper employed Vocational Anticipatory Socialization theory as a framework for exploring vocational interests, entry into intercollegiate athletic administration, and the role of gender in career selection. Thirty-four men and women serving in NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic administration roles were interviewed. Findings suggested that social relationships, early career experiences, and career interests and values were critical factors in the socialization process. The position in which a person entered the field of intercollegiate athletics often dictated the career path. There is limited evidence that gender influenced career paths. Implications for practice and future research are also discussed.

Hancock is with the Dept. of Health & Sport Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. Cintron is with the School of Human Services, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. Darvin is with the Dept. of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Address author correspondence to Meg G. Hancock at meg.hancock@louisville.edu.
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