Online activism and athlete advocacy in professional women's golf. Risk or reward?

Kitching, N., Bowes, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5635-106X and MacLaren, M., 2021. Online activism and athlete advocacy in professional women's golf. Risk or reward? In: R. Magrath, ed., Athlete activism: contemporary perspectives. London: Routledge, pp. 181-192. ISBN 9781003140290

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While golf provides an avenue by which women can play professionally, more men have the opportunity to do so and when they do, they make more money than women. In terms of visibility, endorsements, prize money and media coverage, women golfers lag behind their male counterparts. Meghan MacLaren is a professional golfer on the Ladies European Tour and while competing, simultaneously documents her life as a professional athlete through her online blog, much of which intertwines her career trajectory alongside the inequality she faces. MacLaren's posts advocate increased pay and opportunity in professional women’s golf and have coincided with a progressive period in women’s professional golf, including golf's return to the Olympic Games, mixed gender events and increased prize money. Building on other collaborations, this chapter considers the potential for athlete activism to stimulate change in professional golf. A truncated analysis of MacLaren's online posts is initially presented, prompting questions around female athlete advocacy and activism, which were posed directly to her. Using a collaborative approach, MacLaren responds in her own writing, contributing as a co-author. The resultant discussion considers the risks and rewards and the social and economic implications for female protagonists who speak out in male-dominated arenas such as professional sport.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Kitching, N., Bowes, A. and MacLaren, M.
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: London
Date: 2021
ISBN: 9781003140290
Rights: This content is open access under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 31 May 2023 09:32
Last Modified: 31 May 2023 09:32

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