‘It’s like equality now; it’s not as if it’s the old days’: an investigation into gender identity development and football participation of adolescent girls

Pielichaty, Hanya (2015) ‘It’s like equality now; it’s not as if it’s the old days’: an investigation into gender identity development and football participation of adolescent girls. Soccer and Society, 16 (4). pp. 493-507. ISSN 1466-0970

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‘It’s like equality now; it’s not as if it’s the old days’: an investigation into gender identity development and football participation of adolescent girls.
This article explores the influence participating in football has on the development of adolescent girls’ gender identity, an area which currently lacks academic attention. Data is taken from an ethnographic study with a group of adolescent girls and boys and compared to Jeanes’ research. A social constructionist framework was deployed with links to both critical theory and feminist literature. Qualitative and participatory methods were used to fully engage with the complex issue of gender identity. The girls within this study were aware of the normative gender expectations linked to ‘being a female’ but did not find this restrictive. The girls moved between many changing identities and organised their ‘web of selves’ accordingly. The apparent need to measure success by the parameters of male standards created a barrier to girls’ identity development.

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Abstract

This article explores the influence participating in football has on the development of adolescent girls’ gender identity, an area which currently lacks academic attention. Data were taken from an ethnographic study with a group of adolescent girls and boys and compared to Jeanes’ research. A social constructionist framework was deployed with links to both critical theory and feminist literature. Qualitative and participatory methods were used to fully engage with the complex issue of gender identity. The girls within this study were aware of the normative gender expectations linked to ‘being a female’ but did not find this restrictive. The girls moved between many changing identities and organised their ‘web of selves’ accordingly. The apparent need to measure success by the parameters of male standards created a barrier to girls’ identity development.

Keywords:Gender, adolescence, Identity, Football, Girls, oaemailed, bmjgoldcheck
Subjects:L Social studies > L390 Sociology not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:7411
Deposited On:05 Feb 2013 08:51

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