Sport and Gender Relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Modern sports appear to have a historically variable relative autonomy; that is to say, what happens in sport can be explained by looking at the changing balances of power between the groups involved in sports, the integration of sports in wider social figurations such as national societies, and the stage of development of wider social totalities. Using the figurational sociological perspective, this essay uses Eric Dunning's work on sport and gender (since the 1960s) to investigate further aspects of: (i) the position of different sporting disciplines in the overall status hierarchy of sports in Ireland; (ii) particular female athletes' positions within these sports; (iii) the consequences of social relations for the self-conceptions of masculine and feminine habituses; and (iv), the ways in which changes in the self-images and social make-up of male and female athletes in Ireland (as elsewhere) go hand in hand with changes in the social structure of gender relations more generally. The essay, therefore, is an attempt to outline and summarize the relevance of Dunning's work to our understanding of aspects of the sport-gender nexus in Western societies and, secondly, makes a (modest) contribution towards ‘a sociology of sport in the Republic of Ireland’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-633
JournalSport in Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2006


  • sport
  • gender
  • Ireland
  • power relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Sport and Gender Relations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this