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“The Love of My Life”: The Meaning and Importance of Sport for Female Fans

Pope, S.

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Abstract

Academic research has typically focused upon the importance of sports fandom for men, and there is also a lack of comparative work which examines fans of different sports. This article aims to address this omission by exploring the meaning and importance of sports fandom for women. Drawing on a “grounded theory” approach, 85 semi-structured interviews were conducted with female fans of men’s football (soccer) and rugby union in England. Building upon Giulianotti’s (2002) work, I develop a preliminary model of female fandom. I examine two female fan “types” (“hot’ and “cool” fans), and explore two different kinds of gender performance (“masculine” femininities and “feminine” femininities) which helped to connote these. My findings demonstrate the need to consider the range and diversity of women’s supporter styles.

Citation

Pope, S. (2013). “The Love of My Life”: The Meaning and Importance of Sport for Female Fans. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 37(2), 176-195. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723512455919

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2013
Deposit Date Jul 3, 2013
Publicly Available Date Apr 17, 2014
Journal Journal of Sport and Social Issues
Print ISSN 0193-7235
Electronic ISSN 1552-7638
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 2
Pages 176-195
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723512455919
Keywords Female, Fandom, Football, Rugby union, Fan types.

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