Virtual maltreatment is a rapidly emerging and highly significant issue within contemporary sport. This issue is particularly relevant to female athletes and female sports in social media spaces. Using a netnographic approach, an analysis of two popular social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) was conducted to examine the social commentary and fan interaction surrounding the top five seeded female tennis players at the 2015 WimbledonTennis Championships. In particular, this study investigates the ‘continuum’ of sexually based online interaction which occurred on the social media sites pertinent to this tennis event. Specifically, three forms of sexualisation were identified. These included a sexualisation that focussed on the female physical appearance, a sexualisation that desired and/or proposed physical or sexual contact with the tennis players, and finally, a sexualisation that was vile, explicit and threateningly violent in a sexual or misogynistic manner. These findings demonstrate how social media provides a space for unregulated physical and sexual abuse of female athletes in a way that traditional sports media does not. Virtual abuse and maltreatment is identified as a significant social problem which requires further consideration in academic literature.
|Number of pages||2|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Apr 2019|
|Event||2019 World Congress of Sociology of Sport - University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand|
Duration: 24 Apr 2019 → 27 Apr 2019
https://www.otago.ac.nz/issa-2019/otago710016.pdf (conference booklet with abstracts)
|Conference||2019 World Congress of Sociology of Sport|
|Abbreviated title||Sociology of Sport and Alternative Futures|
|Period||24/04/19 → 27/04/19|
Litchfield, C., Osborne, J., & Kavanagh, E. J. (2019). Sexualisation, misogyny and social media abuse in women’s tennis. 9-10. Abstract from 2019 World Congress of Sociology of Sport, Dunedin, New Zealand.