Fictional denials of female empowerment: A feminist analysis of young adult sports fiction

Mary Jo Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Scholars have argued that sport is a highly gendered space where dominant and subordinate groups engage in struggles of resistance and counter-resistance. There are two limitations with this research. First, the majority of investigations have been confined to adult women; examinations of adolescent females are virtually nonexistent. Second, most research has focused on print and broadcast journalism. The influence of one important medium - young adult sports fiction - has been neglected. This investigation analyzed "lone girl" novels (where adolescent female protagonists try out for boys' teams), as well as books focusing on women's team sports. Findings revealed lone girl novels characterized female protagonists as going against their "true nature." Novels featuring women's team sports undermined female solidarity by equating it with heterosexual desire. These results constitute a fictional denial of sport as a site of resistance and empowerment for athletic females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-262
Number of pages32
JournalSociology of Sport Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


Dive into the research topics of 'Fictional denials of female empowerment: A feminist analysis of young adult sports fiction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this