'Write when it hurts. Then write till it doesn't': athlete voice and the lived realities of one female professional athlete

Kitching, N., Bowes, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5635-106X and MacLaren, M., 2020. 'Write when it hurts. Then write till it doesn't': athlete voice and the lived realities of one female professional athlete. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. ISSN 2159-676X

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Digital media has played a central role in promoting women’s sport, where female athletes are increasingly using online platforms to control their own representations and challenge male dominated sporting institutions. Alternatively, some commentators claim that female athletes’ use of digital media contributes to patriarchal practices in sport, where through self-promotion and image building they do little to advance representations of women’s sport. This paper interrogates these ideas, adopting a postfeminist sensibility and collaborative research approach to examine the online self-representations of a female athlete and blogger. The athlete in question is Meghan MacLaren, a professional golfer on the Ladies’ European Tour who documents her life as a professional athlete through her online blog. Primarily, the authors present a critical analysis of MacLaren’s blog posts over a period of three years, from MacLaren turning professional to the present day. This initial analysis prompted a series of questions around MacLaren’s blogging and self-representations, which the authors then posed directly to her, and Meghan was invited to respond in her own voice. Using a collaborative approach with MacLaren as co-author, this paper seeks to draw attention to the diverging realities of a female professional athlete fulfilling dichotomous identities as a simultaneously trusting and doubting golf performer on the course and a self-appointed athlete activist online, all the while operating in, and influenced by the patriarchal and capitalist cultural environment of golf.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Creators: Kitching, N., Bowes, A. and MacLaren, M.
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Date: 23 October 2020
ISSN: 2159-676X
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Sep 2020 12:07
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2022 03:00
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40879

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