Intercollegiate media guides as contested terrain: A longitudinal analysis

Mary Jo Kane, Jo Ann Buysse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the aftermath of the passage of Title IX, Michael Messner laid the theoretical groundwork for what was at stake as a result of this landmark legislation. He argued that women's entrance into sport marked a quest for equality and thus represented a challenge to male domination. He further argued that media representations of athletic females were a powerful vehicle for subverting any counterhegemonic potential posed by sportswomen. Scholars should therefore examine "frameworks of meaning" linked to female athletes because they have become "contested terrain." Our investigation addressed Messner's concerns by examining the cultural narratives of intercollegiate media guides. We did so by analyzing longitudinal data from the early 1990s through the 2003-04 season. Findings revealed an unmistakable shift toward representations of women as serious athletes and a sharp decline in gender differences. Results are discussed against a backdrop of sport scholars in particular - and institutions of higher education in general - serving as agents of social change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-238
Number of pages25
JournalSociology of Sport Journal
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

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