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Freedom for Expression or a Space of Oppression? Social Media and the Female @thlete.

Osborne, J., Kavanagh, E. and Litchfield, C., 2021. Freedom for Expression or a Space of Oppression? Social Media and the Female @thlete. In: Bowes, A. and Culvin, A., eds. The Professionalisation of Women's Sport: Issues and Debates. Leeds: Emerald, 157-172.

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Freedom for expression or a space of oppression edited final.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1108/978-1-80043-196-620211010


Social media provides a space for female athletes to create their own media (and advertising) in order to share their lives through stories presented online - a phenomenon, that to date has been ignored in traditional media spaces. Research suggests that athletes more broadly can take a more active role in their public presentation across a wide variety of platforms (Lebel and Danylchuk, 2012) and share more aspects of their identity than typically portrayed in mainstream media coverage (Sanderson, 2013, 2014). More specifically, virtual worlds have created platforms through which female athletes can share content and present themselves to fans or followers of sport in their own way and with relative freedom (Litchfield and Kavanagh, 2018). While it is acknowledged that social media can empower the female user, simultaneously, these spaces have proven to be hostile and can serve to oppress or marginalise individuals and groups (Kavanagh et al., 2016; Litchfield et al., 2018). An intersectional, third-wave feminist lens will be adopted in this chapter in order to examine such a dichotomy (Bruce, 2016). This approach will analyse the disjunction between the rise of the female '@thlete’ and their adoption of contemporary digital sporting spaces and the presence of a darker narrative permeating digital environments through highlighting the presence of online vitriol and intersectional abuse (racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.) that athletes may face while navigating lives online.

Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:Abuse; online; Women's Sport
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:37993
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:12 Mar 2024 15:51
Last Modified:12 Mar 2024 15:52


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