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Title: A narrative study of female football players in England : complicity, negotiation and transformation in the 'third-space'
Author: Themen, C. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 1769
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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The general aim of the thesis is to contribute a better understanding of women’s football. Literature that looks at women’s football falls into the broad areas of governance (Lopez, 1997; Williams and Woodhouse, 1991; Williams, 1994a) and sexualities and sexual identity (Caudwell, 2004, 1999; Cahn, 1994, 1993; Cox and Thompson, 2001; Pfister et al, 1999; Scraton and Flintoff, 2002). Women’s football in historical, and to a lesser extent in contemporary terms, is marginalised by a tradition which sustains the notion that playing football is unfeminine. In this context, the problem for this research is how to account for women’s experiences in football and then to obtain empirical evidence that will foreground their narratives. The ‘third-space’ (Bhabha, 1994a:54) is utilised as a theoretical framework to give voice to non-traditional voices that can contest hegemonic masculinities. The elements of third-space found in mimicry, disavowal and hybridity correspond to the thematic sections of the thesis related to the research questions; complicity, negotiation and transformation, with the aim of testing the utility of these conceptual devices to instigate critical debate on gender in football. The synthesis of theoretical and epistemological frames initiate a narrative for understanding how margins and exclusion illustrate the variety of ways in which women have forged spaces to play football. Using empirical data gathered from 17 in-depth open interviews with amateur female football players, ages ranging from 18 – 60, emergent themes organised around complicity, negotiation and transformation, focus on topics of governance, friendship networks, identities and mixed-football. These experiential narratives foreground the complex and varied nature of the sample and, importantly, illustrate how the subjective voice contributes to disrupting the grander narrative that maintains gender inequality in football.
Supervisor: Hancock, L. ; Mythen, G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral