Term of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

John Weaver

Committee Member 1

Joanne Chopak

Committee Member 2

Marla Morris

Committee Member 3

William Reynolds

Abstract

This research is a qualitative, case study of five women who have successful careers in the male dominated field of athletics. An interview was done with each woman to determine whether her professional/personal life had been affected in any way by the athletic patriarchy and how their experiences were similar or different. The purpose of this research was to examine the influences of the athletic patriarchy on women's athletics and to explore issues of power and gender within these influences. Research questions asked were: How has the construction of gender identity by the athletic patriarchy affected women's athletics? What part has gender played in the evolution of women's athletics? Why is the athletic patriarchy so powerful and how has it been so successful in keeping women marginalized in athletics? Women were selected to participate in this research based on their careers. Three women are highly successful coaches; one of those recently retired from coaching to become an assistant athletic director. One is a Division I Volleyball Coach, one a Division I Basketball Coach, and the third a retired Division I Basketball Coach, now working as an Assistant Athletic Director in the same Division I school where she coached. The group is rounded out by a retired Ladies Professional Golfer and a local school system athletic director. The group of women was within a seven year age range. Birth years spanned 1952- 1959. All but one woman came from large families with older brothers. The fifth woman was an only child. Questions about early athletic experiences, Title IX experiences, and experiences with the athletic patriarchy were asked of each woman. Interviews were conducted in a variety of settings, office of the participant, the home of one participant's mother, and one was conducted by telephone. The interviews revealed that the three women working in major Division I Universities did not have any negative experiences with the athletic patriarchy. Interestingly enough, the women who were not protected by Title IX in university settings, the retired golfer and the system athletic administrator, had numerous negative experiences to recount about the athletic patriarchy.

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