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Gender Inequality in the New Millennium: An Analysis of WNBA Representations in Sport Blogs

From: Journal of Sports Media
Volume 7, Number 2, Fall 2012
pp. 153-178 | 10.1353/jsm.2012.0019



While there is very little scholarship that has examined sport blog accounts of women's sport like that of the WNBA, there is a wealth of scholarship that has explored the ways in which women's sport is most frequently represented in traditional media outlets such as television, newspapers, and magazines. Scholarship on traditional media, gender, and sport reveals that female athletes such as those in the WNBA are often covered in normative ways, that is, ways that highlight a particular form of femininity, motherhood, and sexuality while downplaying female athleticism (Banet-Weiser, 1999). Yet little is known about whether or not these representational strategies persist within the interactive world of new media blogs where fans have the opportunity to post their own interpretations of events in discussion board posts. This analysis begins to fill that gap by examining WNBA accounts to see if traditional media themes related to gender and sport are represented within two sport news blogs with differing editorial foci: Deadspin and Women Talk Sports. Our analysis suggests that dominant ideologies and representational patterns most frequently produced in traditional media accounts are often reproduced in Deadspin while Women Talk Sports offers a unique opportunity for more critical engagement with these ideologies.

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