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Female football players: encountering physical capital in mixed-sex football

Themen, Kate (2020) Female football players: encountering physical capital in mixed-sex football. Soccer & Society, 21 (5). pp. 510-521. ISSN 1466-0970

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In this paper, I examine the contribution that mixed-sex football can make to the development of female football players. Girls’ choices about participating in physical exercise may be influenced by a number of factors, but I want to address specifically the traditionally ‘masculine’ sport of football to consider the extent to which binary gender is a limited construct. Using a method of narrative interviews for data collection, I draw on the experiences of eight women ranged from aged 23 to 58. There was an emergent tension between the objective construction of gender both materially and symbolically and the subjective experiences of participants. This was evident in underlying anxieties apparent in fieldwork, in terms of the physical learning environment and acquisition of football capital, but mixed-sex football showed to be a positive environment for developing female football players.

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