New book explores professionalisation of women’s sport

Categories: Salford Business School

A new book examining the increasing professionalisation of women’s sport has been produced by a University of Salford academic.

As women’s sport continues to grow and develop, with increasing professionalism in cricket, rugby and football, alongside sports such as tennis, athletic and golf, The Professionalisation of Women’s Sport examines how it came about and how things differ from men’s sport.

In a collection of chapters, edited by Dr Alex Culvin, of the University of Salford Business School and her colleague Ali Bowes, of Nottingham Trent University, the book discusses the processes of professionalisation in women’s sport as distinct from, and different to, that seen in men’s sport, identifying different challenges that faced the growth of women’s elite sport.

There are contributions on sport sociology, sport history, sport economics and beyond, and across the varying geographical contexts of North America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Examining American football, basketball, cricket, cycling, golf, ice hockey, tennis, rugby union and rugby league, the book consider the emergence of professionalisation, the role of the media, and experiences in and of women’s (semi-) professional sport.

Dr Culvin, an ex-pro footballer herself, said: “This book idea is in part a result of my PhD, it’s a really exciting collection. The collective struggle for women’s sport has not been recognised so far and this is an attempt to put that right. We need to understand women’s’ sport as distinct from men’s, it has been a much different process to get where we are.

“Within this collection, we attempted to bring together some key issues and debates that have emerged alongside the increased professionalisation of women’s sport globally. We hope this collection advances emergent conversations about women’s sport and what the future holds."

The book touches on race, sexuality, and disability as well as gender. The Professionalisation of Women’s Sport is available now from Emerald publishers.

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