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Durham University

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Dr Stacey Pope

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Stacey joined the School of Applied Social Sciences in 2013. She completed her ESRC sponsored PhD at the University of Leicester. She is a leading figure in the sociology of sport in the area of female sports fans. Her book, The Feminization of Sports Fandom: A Sociological Study, was published by Routledge in May 2017. Women’s experiences as sports fans have been largely ignored by academics but this book tackles these shortcomings in the literature and sheds new light on the many ways in which women become sports fans. The book looks at the growing numbers of women fans entering the traditionally male domain of the sports stadium and is the first study to focus on the phenomenon of the feminization of sports fandom.

Stacey is especially interested in issues of gender and sport. Her research to date has incorporated a number of areas including: the sociology of football and rugby union; comparative research in sports fandom; women, sport and place; rivalry and class distinction between sports fans; change and continuity in the lives of female sports fans; the meaning and importance of sport for women; and the formative experiences of females across different generations and the role of the family in shaping sporting involvement. Her research interests are interdisciplinary, incorporating sociology, history, sport and physical education, gender studies and leisure studies. Stacey’s current research agenda further develops her existing work in the area of female sports fandom. She recently began a three year AHRC project as principal investigator entitled: Female Sports Fandom in the North East: A Historical Study of Female Fandom and the Critical Intersections Between Sports Spectatorship and Participation (£243,710.04). This project runs until 2019 and is a comparative study of men’s and women’s sports in the North East of England.

Stacey is regularly invited to present on her research at national and international events and has delivered invited presentations at a number of institutions including the University of Oxford, the University of Copenhagen, Senate House Library, the British Library, the European Union Committee of the Regions, Public Health England and UEFA. She is a member of the steering group for the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities and a member of the Young People and Society Study Group. Stacey’s teaching is research led and she is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Ref: PR083665).

Media Work

My research has featured in the local and national media, including:

  • BBC and ITV
  • The Telegraph
  • The Herald
  • For details of my research on women and the 1966 World Cup, click here.

Research Projects

Department of Sociology

Research Interests

  • Sports fandom, especially football and rugby union
  • Gender issues in fandom and comparative research in sports fandom
  • The sociology of football and rugby union
  • Women's experienes of sport historically
  • Gender and sport

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2016: Keynote: ‘Female Sports Fandom: Existing Research and Future Agendas’. The Football Collective Conference: Research Insight Series. FC United, Manchester.
  • 2015: Invited speaker for expert roundtable: ‘Female Fans and Women’s Football’. European Union Committee of the Regions, Brussels.
  • 2013: Keynote: ‘Female Fans’. University of Copenhagen.
  • 2012: Research Prize: Awarded early career researcher prize for best paper on the formative experiences of three generations of female football fans. The paper was selected from over 450 presentations at the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS) conference, July 2012.
  • 2011: Elected Officer : British Society of Sports History (BSSH). 2011-2014.
  • 2011: PhD Prize: Awarded University of Leicester College of Social Sciences PhD prize for outstanding performance, March 2011.
  • Editorial Board member:

    Soccer & Society.

  • Editorial Board member:

    The Football Collective. Expert lead on gender.


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article