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Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Dr Stacey Pope

Pope, S. (2013). “The Love of My Life” The Meaning and Importance of Sport for Female Fans. Journal of Sport & Social Issues 37(2): 176–195.

Author(s) from Durham


Academic research has typically focused upon the importance of sports fandom for
men, and there is also a lack of comparative work which examines fans of different
sports. This article aims to address this omission by exploring the meaning and
importance of sports fandom for women. Drawing on a “grounded theory” approach,
85 semi-structured interviews were conducted with female fans of men’s football
(soccer) and rugby union in England. Building upon Giulianotti’s (2002) work, I develop
a preliminary model of female fandom. I examine two female fan “types” (“hot’ and
“cool” fans), and explore two different kinds of gender performance (“masculine”
femininities and “feminine” femininities) which helped to connote these. My findings
demonstrate the need to consider the range and diversity of women’s supporter