Thorpe, H. A., Toffoletti, K., & Bruce, T. (2017). Sportswomen and social media: bringing third-wave feminism, postfeminism, and neoliberal feminism into conversation. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 41(5), 359–383. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723517730808
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11831
In this paper, we take seriously the challenges of making sense of a sporting (and media) context that increasingly engages female athletes as active, visible and autonomous, while inequalities pertaining to gender, sexuality, race and class remain stubbornly persistent across sport institutions and practices. We do so by engaging with three recent feminist critiques that have sought to respond to the changing operations of gender relations and the articulation of gendered subjectivities, namely third-wave feminism, postfeminism and neoliberal feminism, and applying each to the same concrete setting – the social media self-representation of Hawaiian professional surfer Alana Blanchard. In aiming to conceptually illustrate the utility of these three feminist critiques, we are not advocating for any single approach. Rather, we critically demonstrate what each offers for explaining how current discourses are being internalized, embodied and practiced by young (sports)women, as they make meaning of, and respond to, the conditions of their lives.
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Journal of Sport and Social Issues. © 2017 the authors.