Twitter, Team GB and the Australian Olympic Team: representations of gender in social media spaces

Authors: Litchfield, C. and Kavanagh, E.

Start date: 3 June 2017

Twitter is used by athletes, sporting teams and sports media to provide updates on the results of sporting events as they happen. Unlike traditional forms of sports media, online sports media offers the potential for diverse representations of athletes. The current study examines gender in social media coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games using a critical feminist framework. The specific coverage analysed focused on ‘Team GB’ and the ‘Australian Olympic team’ Twitter pages and the sports stories and images posted during set time periods during the Rio Olympic Games. This research showed that there were significant leaps forward in terms of the amount of coverage received by women in online spaces. However, the analysis also uncovered a number of differences in the ways that male and females were represented. These differences relate to the images accompanying sports stories, the language used in sports stories and the infantilization of female athletes.

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Authors: Litchfield, C. and Kavanagh, E.

Journal: Sport in Society

Volume: 22

Issue: 7

Pages: 1148-1164

ISSN: 1743-0437

DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2018.1504775

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Twitter is used by athletes, sporting teams and sports media to provide updates on the results of sporting events as they happen. Unlike traditional forms of sports media, online sports media offers the potential for diverse representations of athletes. The current study examined gender in social media coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games using a third wave feminist lens. The analysis focused on the Twitter pages of ‘Team GB’ and the ‘Australian Olympic team’ and the sports stories and images posted during the Rio Olympic Games. Despite a number of traditional differences in the ways that male and females were represented being present, such as the presence of ‘active’ images of male athletes accompanying sports stories and the presence of infantalization in the language used to represent female performers, this analysis demonstrated significant strides forward in terms of the quantity of coverage received by women in online spaces. It further highlights virtual platforms as dynamic spaces for the representation of women athletes.

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Litchfield, C. and Kavanagh, E.

Journal: SPORT IN SOCIETY

Volume: 22

Issue: 7

Pages: 1148-1164

eISSN: 1743-0445

ISSN: 1743-0437

DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2018.1504775

The data on this page was last updated at 05:14 on July 22, 2019.