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Shifting hegemony in ‘a man’s world’: incremental change for female golf professional employment

Kitching, N and Grix, Jonathan and Phillpotts, L (2017) Shifting hegemony in ‘a man’s world’: incremental change for female golf professional employment. Sport in Society, 20 (11). pp. 1530-1547. ISSN 1743-0437

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Abstract

There is much evidence to suggest that the golf environment is unequal in terms of gender. This study puts this to the test by focusing on female golf professionals’ understanding of the barriers and opportunities to employment in the golf industry. Data were collected through a series of focus groups, interviews (n = 17) and a survey (n = 95) with female PGA professionals and trainee PGA professionals in Great Britain and Ireland, over half of whom indicated coaching as their primary employment role. At the time of data collection female PGA golf professionals made up less than 3% of all PGA professionals in Britain and Ireland. The data revealed some clear differences between older and younger respondents on barriers to, and opportunities for, employment in the golf industry. On the whole, younger professionals appeared more willing to challenge, discuss and confront the underlying discrimination. The results suggest that golf is undergoing an incremental change away from male hegemony.

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