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pocock-skey-2022-you-feel-a-need-to-inspire-and-be-active-on-these-sites-otherwise-people-won-t-remember-your-name.pdf (170.31 kB)

‘You feel a need to inspire and be active on these sites otherwise . . . people won’t remember your name’: elite female athletes and the need to maintain ‘appropriate distance’ in navigating online gendered space

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posted on 2024-02-09, 12:32 authored by Molly Pocock, Michael SkeyMichael Skey

Although some scholars have argued that social media provide opportunities for sportswomen to bypass mainstream media reporting, there is little existing research on how female athletes use, and experience, digital platforms. This article uses insights from studies of ‘gendered visibility’ alongside work on ‘closeness and distance’ in journalism studies to put forward the concept of ‘appropriate distance’ when trying to understand how these athletes manage their time and engagements online. Drawing on interviews with UK-based elite sportswomen, the findings not only show how distance is carefully managed to protect themselves from negative comments and over-exposure online, but also the significance of building connections with young female followers. Indeed, the athletes prize their status as ‘role models’ and seek to provide ongoing support and a sense of community in what is often an antagonistic online space.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Communication and Media

Published in

New Media and Society

Volume

26

Issue

2

Pages

961 - 977

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Author(s)

Publisher statement

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Acceptance date

2021-12-09

Publication date

2022-01-27

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

1461-4448

eISSN

1461-7315

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Michael Skey. Deposit date: 9 December 2021

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