Standards and separatism: The discursive construction of gender in english soccer coach education

Beth Fielding-Lloyd, Lindsey Mean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Affirmative action is a problematic, but common, organizational approach to redressing gender discrimination as it fails to address discourses underlying organizational definitions and practices in highly masculinized sites like English football. Unstructured interviews with 27 key personnel and participants in coach education in the north of England within a regional "division" of the organization regulating English football ("The FA") were conducted to explore the gendered construction and enactment of football and coaching, and the framing of women-only (separatist) coaching courses. Critical discourse analysis identified the deployment of discourses concerning the undermining of standards and the privileging of women as strategies used to neutralize the significance of gender and previous gender discrimination, while re/producing the centrality of masculinity for key definitions and identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-39
Number of pages16
JournalSex Roles
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Football
  • Gender
  • Identities
  • Soccer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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