Feminism in new sporting spaces: gender, subjectivity and the female surfer in Britain

  • Georgina Roy

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The popularity of ‘lifestyle’ sports like surfing has risen exponentially since the 1990s (Booth, 2004; Wheaton, 2010). The female interest in surfing has been a particularly pronounced feature of this growth; evident not only in terms of participation, but in terms of consumption and visibility across forms of popular culture worldwide (Comer, 2010). This so-called ‘boom’ of interest in surfing amongst women in Britain is an important topic for feminist analysis. In its contemporary form, the sport has particularly strong links to standards of white heteronormativity, and the heterosexy image of the 'surfer girl' is a central aspect of surfing's commercial mainstreaming. At the same time, surfing is still a relatively ‘new', and so-called 'alternative' sporting space, particularly amongst women in Britain. As such, it has the potential to challenge dominant discourses of femininity.
Date of AwardSept 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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