IDENTIFYING AND CRITICALLY ANALYSING THE MEDIA-RELATED FACTORS UNDERPINNING THE DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN’S CRICKET.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Theberge (1998) outlines that sport has been utilised as a tool to construct patriarchal ideologies where men are seen as the dominant species, termed as gender stereotypes. Krishna (2013) suggested that this concept is prominent in cricket. Authors such as Lebel & Danylchuk (2009) strongly suggested that these stereotypes have diminished and the divide between men & women’s cricket has closed. Furthering this, there is a strong belief that the increase in media coverage has led to vast improvements in the women’s game. The following study will be twofold. Firstly, the study will identify whether the concept of gender stereotypes are still present in modern day cricket. Secondly, the study will explore the extent to which media has impacted upon the development of women’s cricket. The scientific objectives are; to discover how prominent gender stereotypes are in modern day cricket, to explore the relationship between power and gender in current cricket organisations, and to discuss the extent to which media has played a role in enhancing women’s cricket. In order to address these objectives, the study collected data using formal interviews. Four cricket coaches were used as participants, having played varying standards of cricket. Three key themes were outlined from the data; gender stereotypes, power and media coverage. In terms of gender stereotypes, the key finding was that these stereotypes are actually still very prominent among public viewers, as well as professionals within the game. Furthermore, it can be seen that men hold all of the power within cricket organisations such as the ECB, resulting in minimal support for women’s cricket. Data suggested that media coverage has had a positive influence on the game, although not to the extent that would be deemed acceptable.
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