Feminist Politics and Sport

Authored by: Mary Louise Adams

Routledge Handbook of Sport and Politics

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138792548
eBook ISBN: 9781315761930
Adobe ISBN: 9781317646679

10.4324/9781315761930.ch10

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Abstract

Over the past half-century the landscape of women’s sport has changed beyond recognition. Since the 1970s the numbers of women participating in a broad range of sports has increased exponentially. In some parts of the world female athletes routinely have experiences that would have been unthinkable for many of their grandmothers, and sport has become an unremarkable activity for girls, as it has been for boys for generations. The transformation of women’s sport is among the most visible legacies of second wave feminism, the global social movement that came to prominence in the 1960s to address the social, economic and political inequalities between women and men. Many feminists have seen sport as an institution with the potential to challenge sexism and hierarchical notions of gender and to promote equality between women and men. Too frequently, however, sport fails to meet this potential.

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