Gender and Sport

Photo by Ivo De Bruijn of Stocksy United

What role does gender play in sport?

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Sociologists are interested in how people express gender through sports, and how sports can collide with dynamics such as ableism, transphobia, heteronormativity, misogyny, and racism. Although sports often play an important role in cultural expression and social connectedness, access to recreational and professional sports like hockey and golf can be profoundly shaped by one’s socioeconomic status. Sociologists are engaged in research on these and many other issues that pervade the sporting world.

Research by Sociologists

Anderson, E., & Travers, A. (Eds.). (2017). Transgender athletes in competitive sport. Taylor & Francis.

Brett, G. (2017). Reframing the ‘violence’ of mixed martial arts: The ‘art’ of the fight. Poetics, 62, 15-28.

Cooky C. (2018). Gender, Sport and Media Between the Mid-1980s and Early 2000s: Developments, Trajectories and Transformations. In: Mansfield L., Caudwell J., Wheaton B., Watson B. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Feminism and Sport, Leisure and Physical Education. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Elias, N., & Dunning, E. (2008). Quest for excitement: Sport and leisure in the civilising process. (2nd Ed). University College Dublin Press.

Peers, D. (2012). Patients, athletes, freaks: Paralympism and the reproduction of disability. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 36(3), 295-316.

Travers, A., & Shearman, M. (2017). The Sochi Olympics, celebration capitalism, and homonationalist pride. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 41(1), 42-69.

News and Videos

Jenna Weiner and trans sports

Sports are designed around men, and that needs to change.

Sociology Courses at UVic

If you would like to explore gender, sport and related issues in more depth, the Department offers a number of courses you might be interested in:

SOCI100A – Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Social Life
SOCI100B – Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Contemporary Society
SOCI202 – Constructing Social Problems
SOCI220 – Media and Contemporary Society
SOCI281 – Sociology of Genders
SOCI316 – Social Movements
SOCI318 – Social Change
SOCI326 – Social Networks
SOCI382 – Sociology of Sexualities
SOCI383 – Feminisms in Theory and Practice
SOCI432 – Issues in Health and Aging
SOCI435 – Issues in Gender, Sexuality and Trans Communities
SOCI436 – Issues in Sociology and Social Justice
SOCI438 – Issues in Contemporary Sociology