Taking the racing line: The Representations of Women Racing Drivers in British Printed Newspapers Between 2010 and 2020

Desiree Campbell

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Despite the large number of academic studies which have examined the media's representations of sportswomen, little academic research has focused on women racing drivers; this doctoral research aims to address that gap. The mixed-methods research comprised of a longitudinal media analysis and interviews with women racing drivers and motorsport journalists. The media analysis examined 479 articles from six British national newspapers between 2010 and 2020 about women racing drivers. In addition, newspaper articles relating to men racing drivers were also examined to establish the accepted norms for reporting racing drivers in British newspapers. This research found that women racing drivers were barely visible in British newspapers’ racing driver coverage in 2010 and 2020, despite an overall increase of 200% in the number of articles about them from 2010 to 2020. Moreover, women racing drivers' representations reflected those found in the existent research on media representations of sportswomen, whereby they tended to be (re)positioned as others. This other status of women racing drivers was found to have been constructed through various journalistic practices and narratives, including gender marking, infantilisation and focus given to non-task-related aspects in the reporting. Significantly, through gaining insights from journalists and women racing drivers, this research has shown that the representations of women racing drivers and the implications of such representations were shaped by complex interactions between fields (namely motorsport and media) and the individuals within those fields. This presentation will focus on one particular theme that was identified in the research, ‘selling the story’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2023: the 6th international sport & discrimination conference
Subtitle of host publicationthe intersectional nature of discrimination in sport
Place of PublicationRitterdam, Netherlands
PublisherErasmus University Rotterdam
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2023
EventThe intersectional nature of discrimination in sport: 6th Annual Sport & Discrimination Conference - Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 23 Jun 202323 Jun 2023


ConferenceThe intersectional nature of discrimination in sport
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