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Technology Conference, Berlin »

http://techandsoc.com/conference-2010/ 

International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society. In 2010, the Conference will be held at Free University Berlin, Germany from 15-17 January 2010.

Femininity and football: a study of gender identities in football forums

Dr. Deirdre Hynes

Abstract

The development of Web 2.0 technologies have created shared community spaces where people can interact and ‘belong’ to certain groups (Munt et al 2002; McKeogh 2003; Cartensen 2009; Davis 2009). Among the plethora of community and member sites are those used to support football teams. Traditionally, football has been a masculine domain (Connell, 1990; Whannel 2008) and football fan sites are primarily populated by males.

This paper explores the experience of female football fans in the gendered environment of the football forum. Within this context the paper also explores how female football fans negotiate their identity as a football fan and their relationship to their club via online community/fan-sites. Essentially, the key focus is how gender is constructed and ‘performed’ and how this is mediated through ICTs. This paper builds a conceptual framework based on Butler’s theory of Performativity (1999 & 2004) and Goffman’s presentation of self in everyday life (1990) to analyse how identity and gender are constructed and mediated through the exchange of information through computers.

The paper presents tentative findings of a qualitative investigation into the experiences of 11 female football fans in an online context. The research is informed by empirical data gathered via online interviews. It is borne from an online ethnographic tradition (Hine, 2000).

This research cuts across important boundaries (public and private boundaries) and also the blurring of traditional feminine and masculine boundaries within the context of everyday life.

Key words

Football, gender, identity, performativity, everyday life

Bibliography

Butler, J (1999) Gender trouble Routledge Classics London

Butler, J (2004) Undoing Gender Routledge New York

Carstensen, T (2009) Gender Trouble in Web 2.0. Gender perspectives on social network sites, wikis and weblogs Online Proceedings of the 5th European Symposium on Gender & ICT, Digital cultures: participation – empowerment – diversity March 5-7 2009 University of Bremen. Available at: http://www.informatik.uni-bremen.de/soteg/gict2009/proceedings/GICT2009_Carstensen.pdf date accessed: 2009-07-28

Connell, R.W (1990) An Iron Man: The Body and Some Contradictions of Hegemonic Masculinity in Messner, M & Sabo, D (1990) Sport, Men and the Gender Order: Critical Feminist PerspectivesChampaign, Ill: Human Kinetics

Davis, K (2009) Me, Myself, and My Blog: Girls’ Self-Expressions on LiveJournal Online Proceedings of the 5th European Symposium on Gender & ICT, Digital cultures: participation – empowerment – diversity March 5-7 2009 University of Bremen. Available at: http://www.informatik.uni-bremen.de/soteg/gict2009/proceedings/GICT2009_Carstensen.pdf date accessed: 2009-07-28

Goffman, E (1990) The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life  Penguin London

Hine, C (2000) Virtual Ethnography Sage, London

McKeogh, C (2003) eVenos.com: creating a Space for Women on the Web Strategies of Inclusion: Gender and the Information Society. Available online at http://www.rcss.ed.ac.uk/sigisdate accessed: 2009-07-28

Munt, S., Bassett, E. O’Riordan, K (2002) Virtually Belonging: Risk, Connectivity, and Coming Out On-Line International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies, Vol. 7, Nos. 2/3, July 2002

Whannel, G (2008) Culture, politics and sport: Blowing the Whistle, revisited Routledge London

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