The development of sport in Portugal with particular reference to women's participation in sport from the Salazar regime to the democratic period
This study draws on a figurational sociological framework to examine the organisation and structure of sport in Portugal from the period of the dictatorship of the New State (1930-1974) to the current situation, with particular reference to the participation of women in sport. The study is based mainly on data obtained through the analysis of primary historical documents, including newspapers, sports magazines and government and other publications. These data are complemented by data obtained via semi-structured interviews with eight individuals who were/are involved at the present time and/or in the past in sport as leading athletes and/or as sports administrators. The analysis of the data focuses on the broader political, economic and ideological processes during the New State and democratic periods, and on their impact upon sport in general and on women's involvement in sport in particular. The thesis examines and places within the wider social context the ideologies disseminated by the government, by the Catholic Church and by other organisations to limit women's involvement in sport. It also examines the social sources of resistance to these traditional views, and the arguments used by advocates of women's sport. The financial support for sport and the gender images conveyed by media coverage of men's and women's sport during the New State period and during the democratic period are also examined. The study also highlights the unplanned outcomes of government policies in a number of areas and the ways in which these unplanned outcomes have impacted upon the position of women in Portuguese society in general and their participation in sport in particular.