The race to the chequered flag: The representations of women racing drivers in British printed newspapers between 2010 and 2020

Desiree Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Within the large body of research on the media's representations of sportswomen, little academic research has 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. Britain has long been considered the birthplace and the home of motorsport. Motorsport is one of the few sports in which men and women can compete directly against each other. Despite the sport's gender-neutral status, the sport is male-dominated, with very few women competing in the sport's top levels. Over the past decade, there have been significant developments in the progression of women in motorsport, which have included campaigns to increase participation in the sport, women in Formula One teams as development and test drivers and the launch of the WSeries, a womenonly racing series. The media analysis examined 445 newspaper articles from six British national newspapers between 2010 and 2020. In addition, newspaper articles relating to men racing drivers were examined to establish the accepted norms for reporting racing drivers in British newspapers. The initial findings suggest that women racing drivers' representations reflect those found in the existent research on media representations of sportswomen, including the use of gender marking, infantilisation and focus given to non-task related aspects in the reporting. However, in addition, there appears to be a narrative of women racing drivers as extraordinary, exceptional and mythical, which will be discussed in this presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-164
Number of pages2
JournalWomen in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
Issue number2
Early online date13 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023
EventWomen in Sport & Exercise (WiSE) Conference 2021: Redressing the Balance - University of Worcester, Worcester, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Apr 202122 Apr 2021

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