Gender and Sexual Relations in British Sports Broadcasting: Beyond Clare Balding

Philippa Velija

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In this chapter, I offer a critical reading of gender and sexual relations in British Sports Broadcasting through the case study of British Sport Broadcaster Clare Balding. I adopt Eliasian principles to emphasize how individual biographies should be located within wider social relations (Moore, 15:1–8, 2010), and therefore consider Clare Balding’s biography within changing balances of power in gender and sexual relations in the sports media figuration and beyond. In doing so I aim to move beyond common-sense assumptions that deny power relations by outlining continuing gendered and sexual relations in sport media broadcasting. In the chapter, I begin by discussing Clare Balding’s biography and connect this to broader power relations around class, gender, and sexuality. Secondly, I critically discuss media reports of Clare Balding to illustrate how these media representations frame her sexuality and what they can tell us about broader gender and sexual relations. Finally, I locate her success as being related to changes to the broader sports media figuration whilst recognizing ongoing power imbalances in the sports media figuration. I conclude that we know little about lesbian women and their careers in sports broadcasting, and the extent to which their gender and sexuality impact on their career experiences. As it is evident that women continue to face gendered and homophobic harassment, we must seek to better understand the continuing structural inequalities in gender and sexual relations, as well as how they intersect with class and race relations in the sport media profession.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLGBT Athletes in the Sports Media
    EditorsRory Magrath
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-00804-8
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-00804-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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