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Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Dr Stacey Pope

Pope, S. (2014). 'There are Some Daft People Out There!': exploring female sport and media fandoms. Sport in Society 17(2): 254-269.

Author(s) from Durham


Female sports fans have been largely marginalized in academic research, but this article makes one contribution towards changing this relative invisibility. Drawing on a ‘grounded theory’ approach, 85 semi-structured interviews were conducted with female football (soccer) and rugby union fans in the English city of Leicester. This article explores how these women position themselves in relation to stereotypes about female media/soap opera fans. Whilst some sports fans were keen to reaffirm hierarchies between sports and media fandoms, others emphasized the extant similarities between these different types of fandom, illustrating the heterogeneity of women's sporting experiences and the range of their interpretations of fandom. My findings concur with Schimmel et al.'s assertion (Schimmel et al. ‘Keep Your Fans to Yourself’, 593) that there is a need for greater ‘cross-fertilization’ between sports and media fandoms. This could help to prompt a move away from gendered hierarchies in research and move towards putting women's experiences as sports fans on the research agenda.