‘Women can’t referee’: Exploring the experiences of female football officials within UK football culture

Forbes, A., Edwards, L. and Fleming, S. (2014) ‘Women can’t referee’: Exploring the experiences of female football officials within UK football culture. Soccer and Society, 16 (4). pp. 521-539. ISSN 1466-0970

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The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of female (association) football officials who officiate in amateur men’s and boys’ football matches in two UK counties (Warwickshire and Somerset). The research presents a view of men’s football from a position that has hitherto been overlooked in the social exploration of football culture. Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork collected between September and December 2012, the findings provide insight into some women’s experiences of sexism and marginalization in predominantly male football contexts. Participant observations, formal semi-structured interviews and a range of informal conversations with four female match officials demonstrated a wide range of abuse that could generally be construed as sexist. The women used various strategies to overcome the hostile attitudes that often greeted their presence on the football pitch. Moreover, they continuously negotiated their identities as females and football officials in a space where men and masculinity are prevalent.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 Taylor & Francis. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Soccer and Society. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Divisions: Research and Innovation Centre
Depositing User: Scott Fleming
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2018 13:50
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 14:20
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/296

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