An investigation into the production, representation and consumption of mediated football in the 21st century
This research project will focus on one of the most popular pastimes of our times: mediated football in its modern Western-European inception, with the Dutch context being the dominant focus. Sport is seen as a social institution that provides us with insight into “embodiment, agency, freedom and the limits of human potential” (Mumford, 2013). Far from being value neutral, these aspects are understood as being influenced by class, race, gender/sexuality and ability that shape our socio-economic relations. By covering the triad of production, representation and audience consumption, the goal is to explore how these markers of difference are enmeshed in the process of producing, presenting and consuming football, how it has changed through the years and what this might tell us about its role in the (re)production of inequality in our society.
As part of a NWO-funded research project on the societal impact of women’s football in the Netherlands called Van Voetbalvrouwen naar Vrouwenvoetbal [From Football wives to Women’s football] (2013-2016), a first article was published that focused on the journalistic production and media representation of women’s football in the Netherlands in the last two decades (Peeters & Elling, 2014). In a second article (Peeters & Van Sterkenburg, 2016), the topic under scrutiny concerned the audience consumption of men and women’s football (in Great-Britain) and meanings assigned to markers such as race/ethnicity, gender and sexuality. Moving forward, future work will search to develop a more theoretically robust and critical account of the Dutch sports/media complex as a social institution operating in a country that has a “self-image that stresses being a tolerant, small, and just ethical nation, color-blind and free of racism” (Wekker, 2016).
- Peeters, R. & Elling, A. (2014). The coming of age of women’s football in the Dutch sports media, 1995–2013. Soccer & Society 15 (5/6), 620-638
- Peeters, R. & Van Sterkenburg, J. (2016). Making sense of race/ethnicity and gender in televised men’s and women's football: reception research among British students. Sport in Society, published online 17 March 2016. Doi: 10.1080/17430437.2016.1158472