Stuck in the pitlane? The representations of women racing drivers in British printed newspapers between 2010 and 2020

Desiree Campbell

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Despite the numerous studies that have examined the media's representations of sportswomen, few academic studies have focused on women racing drivers; this doctoral research aims to address that gap. This presentation will discuss the initial findings from a longitudinal media analysis examining how women racing drivers are represented in the British media.

Motorsport has its deep roots within Britain. Britain is considered the birthplace of the sport and has produced numerous world champions across various disciplines. Motorsport is unlike most sports, as men and women can compete directly against each other. However, motorsport is male-dominant, with very few women competing at the top levels of the sport. Motorsport has started to address this male dominance as, over the past decade, there has been a push to increase the participation of women in the sport. Unsurprisingly, several of the few women who have risen into the top levels of sport over the past several have been British.

The media analysis consisted of 479 articles about women racing drivers from six British newspapers and their Sunday counterparts, published between January 1st 2010 and December 31st 2020. In addition, newspapers about men racing drivers were collected to provide a comparison. During the presentation, the quantitative and qualitative findings will be discussed. Findings suggest that women racing drivers are underrepresented in British newspapers compared to their male peers. Furthermore, the representation of women racing drivers reflects findings of the existent research on the representation of sportswomen in the media; however, there does appear to be shifting to more positive representations over the last few years. Much of the reporting of women racing drivers in the media is not focused on their racing performance. Instead, there is a preoccupation of the British print media on these women's position in a sport entrenched in masculinities. In addition, emerging from the research was the narrative of these women being exceptional and mythical.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusUnpublished - 6 Nov 2021
EventVirtual Seminar of the ECREA Temporary Working Group “Communication and Sport”: Media, Sport, and Diversity - Aarhus University via Zoom
Duration: 5 Nov 20216 Nov 2021


ConferenceVirtual Seminar of the ECREA Temporary Working Group “Communication and Sport”

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