A Social Media Analysis of the Gendered Representations of Female and Male Athletes during the 2018 Commonwealth Games

Elaine Chiao Ling Yang, Michelle Hayes, Jinyan Chen, Caroline Riot, Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Contemporary sport culture is characterized as highly masculinized, where female athletes are continually marginalized in traditional media. Despite evidence suggesting that media representation of athletes has a meaningful impact on social outcomes and participation rates of women and girls, little is known about gendered representations of athletes on social media and in the context of mega-sporting events. This paper examines the gendered representations of athletes on Twitter during the 2018 Commonwealth Games using framing theory. A total of 133,338 tweets were analyzed using sentiment and word-frequency analyses. Results indicate gender differences concerning athlete representation on Twitter, albeit marginal. In particular, the findings reveal that seemingly neutral words (e.g., “dedicated,” “talented,” and “hard working”) could carry gendered connotations. Recommendations are provided to guide stakeholders to advance a more inclusive sport culture through the strategic use of social media during mega-sporting events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-695
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Communication
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Athlete representation
  • Framing theory
  • Gender
  • Mega-sporting event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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