Female sport fan research has been gaining momentum in recent years (e.g., Farrell, Fink, & Fields, 2011; Osborne & Coombs, 2013; Pope, 2011, 2013; Sveinson & Hoeber, 2015). Much of this research focuses on the marginalization that these sport fans experience (e.g., Crawford & Gosling, 2004; Jones, 2008; Sherlock & Elsden, 2000), with little attention given to experiences of empowerment. Therefore, this study sought to explore if female sport fans’ experiences involve marginalization, empowerment, or both and what contributes to these experiences. Multiple individual interviews were conducted with seven highly identified, displaced female sport fans. The data were analyzed through a three-step process involving open, axial, and selective coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The findings demonstrated that the participants experience marginalization based on assumptions that women are inauthentic sport fans. They also felt empowered when they were able to demonstrate legitimacy and authenticity in their fanship.
Katherine Sveinson and Larena Hoeber
Toni Liechty, Fleesha Willfong and Katherine Sveinson
The purpose of this study was to explore the embodied nature of empowerment among women who play tackle football. Data collection involved semistructured interviews with 15 female football players in Western Canada. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. Three themes emerged from the data suggesting that playing football was empowering as women experienced: a) feelings of strength related to the physicality of the game; b) a sense of breaking boundaries as they participated despite challenges; and c) a sense of belonging to the team which led to positive outcomes such as increased confidence and selfacceptance. The findings of this study highlight the embodied nature of empowerment that comes through participation in sport and characteristics of contact team sport that can facilitate empowerment for women.
Craig Hyatt, Shannon Kerwin, Larena Hoeber and Katherine Sveinson
While the sport fan literature suggests that it is common for parents to socialize their children to cheer for specific sports and teams, recent literature proposes that children can socialize their parents into changing the parents’ sport fandom in a process sociologists and consumer behavior researchers refer to as reverse socialization. To ascertain whether children can socialize and influence their parents’ sport fandom, 20 sport fan parents were interviewed. Evidence of reverse socialization was found in 15 of the participants, manifesting itself in ways that can be categorized as either developing new or additional fandom, or changing one’s behaviors or attitudes towards their existing fandom. However, further exploration of the data suggests that future research reexamine the term “reverse socialization,” as we do not see this as a directionality of influence, but as children as socializing agents.