Call for Papers: Contested relations – gender, sport and power in the mass media

Omslaget på bilden är inte från det aktuella numret.
Omslaget på bilden är inte från det aktuella numret.

Call for papers for a special issue of Sport in Society

Contested relations – gender, sport and power in the mass media

Guest editors:
Professor Susanna Hedenborg, Malmö University
Professor Gertrud Pfister, University of Copenhagen

For large parts of the population in Western countries media sport is the sport reality which they consume in their everyday lives. However, “media sport” has its own aims and rules, and the media do not and cannot cover the multiple realities on and around sports grounds and gym halls. The media focus on the big games and on male athletes, but omit information on politics and economies, on the organization of sport and on sport for all, e.g. the sporting activities of children and seniors.

The mass media help to shape everyday knowledge about “real sport” and how it should be played. For the media “real sport” is men’s sport, and previous research has convincingly demonstrated that male athletes get more media coverage than sportswomen and that men and women are presented in different ways. Media sport contributes to the perpetuation of the gender hierarchy in sport and beyond. Here, questions about backgrounds and reasons, as well as about consequences, emerge.

In this issue we would like to gather together articles that will take up these questions and provide an in-depth insight into the gendered narratives of sports coverage. The articles could have a focus on alternative gender images, culture and sport, specific femininities and masculinities, techniques of gender constructions or media approaches to the gender difference paradigm. Questions such as the impact of the rising popularity of female athletes, e.g. during the 2012 Olympics, could also be addressed.

In addition, inclusion and exclusion processes as well as interrelations and interdependencies between all the players in and on the field, the athletes, the journalists, the media industry and the consumers must be taken into consideration.

Specific emphasis will be placed on power relations, in particular the power of the media to create images and narratives which contribute to a confirmation or to a change of the gender order in football and beyond. .

The papers will undergo a peer review process. Authors will be notified in the summer of 2013.

Deadline for articles: 1 May 2013. The issue will be published in early 2014

Please send your manuscript to


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