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Gender, Sport and Development in Africa

Cross-cultural Perspectives on Patterns of Representations and Marginalization

Jimoh Shehu

Publication Year: 2010

To many young people, the term sport has an exhilarating ring; to many older persons, it signifies recreation and leisure. From colonial times, it has been viewed as a means of social control. Increasingly, it is being touted by governments and donor agencies as a self-evident tool of Africaís development. How accurate are these individual, romantic and moral notions of sport? In this volume, eleven African scholars offer insightful analyses of the complex ideological and structural dimensions of modern sport as a cultural institution. Drawing on various theories and cross-cultural data, the contributors to this volume highlight the various ways in which sport norms, policies, practices and representations pervasively interface with gender and other socially constructed categories of difference. They argue that sport is not only a site of competition and physical recreation, but also a crossroad where features of modern society such as hegemony, identities, democracy, technology, development and master statuses intertwine and bifurcate. As they point out in many ways, sport production, reproduction, distribution and consumption are relational, spatial and contextual and, therefore, do not pay off for men, women and other social groups equally. The authors draw attention to the structure and scope of efforts needed to transform the exclusionary and gendered nature of sport processes to make them adequate to the task of engendering Africaís development. Gender, Sport and Development in Africa is an immensely important contribution to current debates on the broader impacts of sport on society. It is an essential reading for students, policy-makers and others interested in perspectives that interrogate the grand narratives of sport as a neutral instrument of development in African countries.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

Notes on Contributors

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

Play is as old as humanity, but sport as a standardized system of competition between athletes is a modern phenomenon, originating in the West and diffusing to non-Western cultures by various routes and processes, including colonialism, cultural imperialism globalization and adaptation (Guttmann 1994; Hargreaves...

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1. The most Beautiful Game or the most Gender Violent Sport? Exploring the Interface between Soccer, Gender and Violence in Zimbabwe

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pp. 1-12

The Brazilian legend, Pele, reportedly dubbed soccer/football the world’s ‘most beautiful game’. This phrase creates the impression that soccer is an unproblematic game, representing only gallantry, artistry and goodness. To be sure, soccer has its aesthetic dimensions, but an appreciation of these dimensions must be balanced...

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2. From ‘Safety’ Zones to Public Spaces: Women’s Participation in Sport in Zimbabwe

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pp. 13-26

This chapter focuses on gender inequalities in sport and argues that the majority of women are restrained from full participation in sporting activities due to the social construction of spaces earmarked for women and men. The focus on women emanates from the fact that in spite of achievements made by Zimbabwe in affording equal access for both men and...

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3. 2010 FIFA World Cup and the Patriarchy of Football Spectatorship in Malawi

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pp. 27-46

Leading Malawi media houses like The Daily Times, Malawi Nation and Nyasa Times have questioned whether and how the 2010 Federation International of Football1 Association (FIFA) World Cup in South Africa will financially impact on Malawi. But finance does not operate in a vacuum. The opening up, distribution and trickling down of financial opportunities and gains must be read in the context...

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4. Media, Sport and Male Dominance: Analysis of Sport Presentations in a Nigerian Newspaper

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pp. 47-62

Colonialism brought the European Judeo-Christian notions of the dominant male versus dominated female (Mengara 2001). This was done by giving education and power to men and excluding women from public, political, economic and social life, and taking away the traditional powers the women once held. As...

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5. Football, Empowerment and Gender Equality: An Exploration of Elite-Level Women’s Football in South Africa

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pp. 63-78

Women’s role in sport, and the role of sport in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, has increasingly become a key concern within the development ‘industry’ since the mid-1990s. Starting with the emergence of the Women in Sport movement in the 1990s (Saavedra 2005) and the Brighton Conference...

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6. Thiery Henry as Igwe: Soccer Fandom, Christening and Cultural Passage in Nollywood

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pp. 79-94

Prior to the advent of colonialism and western sport, Africa was alive with traditional games and other forms of physical activities. Various types of games were enacted for recreation, celebrations, community mobilization and other functions. Even where these games privileged a particular gender, there was no...

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7. The Gendered Dimension of Competitive Sports in a Multicultural Context: The Mauritian Scenario

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pp. 95-108

Sport has been a historically male dominated preserve that epitomized masculinity and barred women from participating. When the Olympic Games were revived in Athens in 1896, activities were reserved for men only and according to the founder, Baron Pierre de Courbertin, ‘women have but one task, that of crowning the winner with garlands’ (Howe 1978).1 The feminist and radical critiques...

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8. Challenging Gender Stereotypes: A Case Study of Three South African Soccer Players

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pp. 109-124

In the period leading to the first democratic elections in 1994, a progressively redistributionist developmental framework, the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), was adopted. This framework set out the basic principles and policies that the new democratic government was to pursue in addressing...

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9. The Corporatization of Women’s Football in South Africa: A Case Study of the Sasol Sponsorship and its Transformative Potential

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pp. 125-134

This chapter suggests the possibility of creating both a market niche for women’s sport and gender equality through corporate and media involvement in women’s sport. Corporate and media institutions have the potential to create a profitable market and fan-base by publicizing female teams and athletes, thereby encouraging wider female participation and spectatorship. Using Sasol’s sponsorship of...

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10. Football for Hope Centres in Africa: Intentions, Assumptions and Gendered Implications

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pp. 135-156

The 2010 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup Campaign launched on November 25, 2007 in Durban, South Africa was discursively constructed around the slogan ‘20 Centres for 2010’. The intent behind this spatio-temporal slogan is the construction of 20 Football for Hope...

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9782869784017
Print-ISBN-13: 9782869783065

Page Count: 170
Publication Year: 2010