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Men’s Football Fandom and the Performance of Progressive and Misogynistic Masculinities in a ‘New Age’ of UK Women’s Sport

Pope, Stacey and Williams, John and Cleland, Jamie (2022) 'Men’s Football Fandom and the Performance of Progressive and Misogynistic Masculinities in a ‘New Age’ of UK Women’s Sport.', Sociology .


This article offers an original contribution as the first to focus empirically on men football fans’ attitudes towards women’s sport in a ‘new age’ of UK media coverage, in which women’s sport has experienced a significantly increased and more positive media profile. We draw on online survey responses from 1950 men football fans of different age groups from across the UK. Our methodological approach used techniques emerging out of the principles of grounded theory. We develop a new, three-fold, theoretical model, covering men football fans’ attitudes to women in the sports nexus and men’s performances of masculinities. Our findings show evidence of a change in attitudes towards women in sport, with men performing progressive masculinities. However, there were also signs of a backlash against advances in gender equality, with men performing overtly misogynistic masculinities and covertly misogynistic masculinities.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:09 March 2022
Date of first online publication:20 January 2022
Date first made open access:09 March 2022

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