Game, Sex, and Match: The Construction of Gender in British Newspaper Coverage of the 2000 Wimbledon Championships

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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This study compared British newspaper coverage of female and male tennis players competing in the 2000 Wimbledon Championships. Content analysis methodology was used to compare the amount of coverage in The Times, Daily Mail, and The Sun. Drawing on Connell’s (1987, 1993, 1995) theory of gender power relations, textual analysis was used to examine recurring themes in the gendered coverage and analyze how the themes intersected with race. Although few discrepancies were found in the amount of coverage, qualitative comparisons revealed that the predominantly male journalists generally devalued the athletic achievements of female tennis players by using cultural and racial stereotypes, trivialization, and sexual innuendo. In comparison, the journalists frequently expressed their reverence for male tennis players’ athleticism, reproducing and legitimizing hegemonic masculinity.

The author is with the University of Alabama, College of Education, Department of Kinesiology, Tuscaloosa, AL.

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