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“The Club Management Ignores Us”: Gender-Power Relations in Women’s Football in Turkey

Pınar Öztürk and Canan Koca

This research aims to explore the gender–power relations and gendered experiences of the players in a women’s football team in Turkey. An ethnographic method and a feminist perspective were used to allow a deeper understanding of their experiences. Based on participant observation and interviews conducted with 14 players, three coaches, and one staff member, the data were analyzed via thematic analysis. The identified themes are (a) institutionalized gender discrimination and (b) compulsory femininity: being ladylike. The findings indicate that unequal gender relations in the club, influenced by institutionalized gender discrimination, determine the position of the women’s team within the club. Accordingly, compulsory femininity is continuously generated in the field. Consequently, the women’s football team remained at the periphery (and finally outside) of the men’s club.