Social media, digital technology, and sexuality in sport

Keith Parry, Rory Magrath

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

Abstract

Purpose: To explore the relationship between contemporary sport, social media, digital technology, and sexuality. This chapter explores the historical context of sport and sexuality, before then outlining the decline of homophobia in recent years. Despite this, however, perhaps the most ubiquitous way we might see the manifestation of homophobia is through social media.

Design/methodology/approach: This chapter synthesizes a range of academic literature to chart how – despite improving attitudes toward homosexuality in sport – abuse and discrimination is still prevalent on social media.

Findings: Eric Anderson’s (2009) Inclusivity Masculinity Theory (IMT) has been the most useful theoretical apparatus to underpin the changing nature of sport, gender, and sexuality. While this has been used in a variety of sporting contexts, these are primarily focused on gay male athletes in the West. Accordingly, there is a gap in knowledge around the experiences of lesbian, bisexual, and trans athletes, as well as those outside of the Western context.

Originality/value: Although there has been some literature to document discrimination on social media, very little focuses specifically on the manifestation of homophobia. Accordingly, this chapter provides an important contribution by being one of the first to tie together the literature on improved cultural attitudes toward homosexuality whilst simultaneously focusing on the prevalence of discrimination on social media.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport, Social Media, and Digital Technology
Subtitle of host publicationSociological Approaches
PublisherEmerald
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

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