Identity and discursive practice: Doing gender on the football pitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Sport is a highly potent site for the construction of masculine identity and, as the dominant sport in many countries, it is football that is especially linked to masculinity, national and local identities. Consequently, the increasing number of women entering the field of football comprises a direct threat to masculine identity, creating a significant site of gender conflict. Based upon the proposition that identity is constructed and enacted in talk, this article presents an analysis of an 'everyday' discursive practice within football: the routine refusal of appeals to the referee. Using recordings of male referees during both men's and women's matches, the discursive function of this routine practice, its gendered deployment in the collaborative construction and non-collaborative undermining of salient identity categorizations, and the deployment of alternative categories is explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-814
Number of pages26
JournalDiscourse and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Categorization
  • Discourse
  • Discursive practices
  • Football
  • Gender
  • Identity
  • Social construction
  • Sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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