Social media, Gender and Sport

Project members : Dr Chels Litchfield and Dr Jaquelyn Osborne

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The social media, gender and sport project involved the collection of data from social media sites for the Top 5 ranked female and male professional tennis players at the Wimbledon Championships. This study looked at personal social media accounts, tennis organisation and tournament social media accounts and sports media social media accounts. Overwhelming, the data showed that there is a pattern of gender based abuse and violence directed at women through social media comments and posts.

This research was a collaborative project between academics from CSU and Bournemouth University and below is a sample of our publications from this collaboration:

Osborne, J., Kavanagh, E., and Litchfield, C. (in press). Freedom for expression or a space of oppression? Social media and the female @thlete. In Bowes, A. and A. Culvin (Eds.). Women’s sport in a professional era. Emerald Publishing.

Kavanagh, E. J., Litchfield, C., & Osborne, J. (2020). Virtual technologies as tools of maltreatment: Safeguarding in Digital Spaces. In M. Lang, The Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare. London: Routledge. (book to be published in November)

Kavanagh, E., Osborne, J., and Litchfield, C. (2019). Sporting women and social media: Sexualization, misogyny and gender based violence in online spaces. International Journal of Sport Communication, 12(4), pp. 552-572.

Litchfield, C., Kavanagh, E. J. (2019). Twitter, Team GB and the Australian Olympic Team: Representations of gender in social media spaces. Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 22(7), 1148-1164.

Litchfield, C., Kavanagh, E. J., Osborne, J., and Jones, I. (2018). Social media and politics of gender, race and identity: The case of Serena Williams. European Journal for Sport and Society, 15(2), 154-170.

Litchfield, C., Kavanagh, E. J., Osborne, J., and Jones, I. (2016). Virtual Maltreatment, Sexualisation and Social Media: Maria Sharapova and the 2015 Wimbledon Finals. Psychology of Women Section Review, 18(2), 36-47.