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Title: A new dawn rising : an empirical and social study concerning the emergence and development of English women's athletics until 1980
Author: Moon, Gregory Paul
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1997
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Abstract:
This study explores the history of English women's athletics, from the earliest references up to 1980. There is detailed discussion of smock racing and pedestrianism during the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries, but attention is focused on the period from 1921, when international and then domestic governing bodies were formed and athletics. became established as a legitimate sporting activity for women. The methodologies employed are varied, incorporating the use of original documentary sources (for example, newspapers, minute books, and other archival material) and interviews, which were conducted with a range of athletes and administrators. The history of English women's athletics is presented chronologically in Chapters Three to Six which cover key events, such as the formation of the governing bodies, the successes and failures of some of the key athletes and administrators, and the dominant ideologies which have affected women's entry, degree of involvement and continuance in the sport. The varied factors which have encouraged or constrained women from expressions of physicality, and which have changed over time, are considered. Equally complex have been the relationships with the men who have been associated with athletics, both in England and in the global context; concepts of male hegemony are explored, as are the relationships between different groups of women. Attention is given to the complexities surrounding women's athletics, which have resulted in uneven growth around the country and on the world stage. Throughout the thesis the development of women's athletics has been related to wider issues which have impinged on its structure and development. For example, specific cultural, political, economic and ideological patterns which have influenced the history of women's athletics are discussed. Chapters Seven and Eight are thematic, covering the whole period under examination. Chapter Seven focuses on changing medical and social attitudes to the female body over time, and examines images of athletic femininity, changing dress codes, and the particular problem of gender verification testing. Chapter Eight examines the issues of power and control, inequalities and discrimination, and, more specifically, the concept of male hegemony and gender relations of power. This last element incorporates an analysis of the changing relations between men and women, and between different groups of women, including an examination of the roles of administrators, familial relationships and coaches, together with discussions centred on the myth of equal opportunities for women in relation to finance, facilities and press and media coverage. Chapter Nine concludes the study by looking at the spread and democratization of women's athletics, discussing schoolgirl athletics, class distinctions and ethnic expansion. This thesis ends in 1980 when the commercialization and commodification of sport entered a new phase and changed the nature of women's athletics fundamentally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.363797  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History
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