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Barbara Bedker Meyer

Semistructured interviews are used to examine the attitudes and subjective feelings of female collegiate athletes concerning their roles as student-athletes. The women begin college with an idealistic view of education; this view is strengthened over time. The athletic subculture the women are a part of, as well as their classroom and academic experiences, may to some degree influence or reinforce their educational optimism. The results of the current study are compared to those of Adler and Adler (1985), who studied male athletes. The experiences in question are discussed and possible explanations for the gender related similarities/differences are explored.

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Annelies Knoppers, Marvin Zuidema and Barbara Bedker Meyer

The Webb Scale (1969) has been used in much of the research focusing on the professionalization of attitudes via sport. The results of such studies seemed to indicate that the extent to which winning was valued varied by age, gender, and type of sport involvement. However, these findings may in part have been a function of the noncontextual nature of the Webb Scale. In addition, the use of ranking methodology may have forced game orientation into an artificial bipolar continuum bounded by play orientation on one end and professional orientation at the other end. In the current study, the results of the administration of the Webb Scale and the Game Orientation Scale (Knoppers, Schuiteman, & Love, 1986) to 312 youngsters were compared across gender and degree of athletic experience. The Game Orientation Scale uses descriptions of two different sport scenarios and 5-point Likert scales to assess game orientation. The results revealed that game orientation was multidimensional, that the Webb Scale’s validity was questionable, and that professionalization was more a function of measurement and of the type of setting than of a generalized inherent attitude.

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Annelies Knoppers, Barbara Bedker Meyer, Martha E. Ewing and Linda Forrest

Data from 947 Division I college coaches in the United States were used to examine three hypotheses concerning the impact of gender ratio on the frequency of social interaction between women and men coaches. These hypotheses were based on (a) the structural perspective characterized by the politics of optimism, (b) the institutional approach associated with the politics of pessimism, and (c) the common consciousness or subculture perspective represented by the politics of transcendence. Most support was shown for the politics of pessimism, which contends that an increase of women in a male-dominated occupation is associated with rising gender boundaries and sex segregation. Results are explored in the context of gendered homosociality.

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Annelies Knoppers, Barbara Bedker Meyer, Martha Ewing and Linda Forrest

This study examined salary differences between female and male Division I college coaches using three approaches. The human capital approach contends that salary differences are rooted in differences in qualifications. In contrast, a structural approach argues that gender differences in salary are associated with the gender ratio, the proportion of women to men in an occupation. The third approach, capitalist patriarchy, sees the gender wage gap as a function of the intersection of capitalism and patriarchy. We explored each of these approaches and found the greatest support for the latter. Coaches’ wages seemed to be determined for both women and men by both gender and type of sport. Additionally, gender ratio was positively related to the salaries for men only. We discuss the findings as well as their implications for the setting of first-year salaries and the ways in which salary differentiation can be an example of the manner in which gender relations are constructed in sport.

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Annelies Knoppers, Barbara Bedker Meyer, Martha Ewing and Linda Forrest

Organizational power can be defined as access to and ability to mobilize resources such as supplies, support, and information (Kanter, 1977). Differences in organizational power in athletic departments can be seen as a function of sport (whether one coaches a revenue or nonrevenue sport) or of gender. This study examined the extent to which sport or gender best explained differences in the degree of organizational power that Division I college coaches hold in athletic departments. The sample consisted of 947 coaches who responded to a questionnaire that included items dealing with their access to supplies, support, and information. The results indicated that the nature of the intersection of sport and gender varied across the three dimensions of power. Consistently, however, female coaches of nonrevenue sports were most limited in their access to critical resources while male coaches of revenue sports had the most power. This led to the conclusion that an analysis on the distribution of power should examine it in the context of both gender and sport.