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“The love of my life” : the meaning and importance of sport for female fans.

Pope, S. (2013) '“The love of my life” : the meaning and importance of sport for female fans.', Journal of sport and social issues., 37 (2). pp. 176-195.


Academic research has typically focused upon the importance of sports fandom for men, and there is also a lack of comparative work which examines fans of different sports. This article aims to address this omission by exploring the meaning and importance of sports fandom for women. Drawing on a “grounded theory” approach, 85 semi-structured interviews were conducted with female fans of men’s football (soccer) and rugby union in England. Building upon Giulianotti’s (2002) work, I develop a preliminary model of female fandom. I examine two female fan “types” (“hot’ and “cool” fans), and explore two different kinds of gender performance (“masculine” femininities and “feminine” femininities) which helped to connote these. My findings demonstrate the need to consider the range and diversity of women’s supporter styles.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Female, Fandom, Football, Rugby union, Fan types.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:The final definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 37/2, 2013 © SAGE Publications Ltd at the Journal of Sport and Social Issues page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:17 April 2014
Date of first online publication:May 2013
Date first made open access:No date available

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