The image problem in women’s football

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76 Citations (Scopus)


The following article offers an insight into the experiences of female football players at a college of higher education in the south of England. Its principal focus is the image of the game and, in particular, how the women themselves interpret and define their involvement in the sport. Using an interpretive, inductive approach, the study highlights the struggles of heterosexual women in explaining and making sense of their participation in a traditionally male activity. Because of the game’s perceived association to lesbianism, anumberofthefootballplayershavetomakeexplicittheirownsexualityand some embark on a process of identity management. The study explores the complex relationship between women and football and provides an alternative insight into the game and the people who play it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-197
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sport and Social Issues
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2005


  • women's football
  • identity
  • stereotypes


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