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'When women look their worst':Women and sports participation in interwar Scotland

Skillen, Fiona I. (2008) 'When women look their worst':Women and sports participation in interwar Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The works of historians such as Hargreaves, Tranter, Walvin, McCrone and Bailey suggest that women were, for a variety of reasons, gradually entering into the ‘world of sport’ from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards. Despite a lack of research it has been argued that this trend, of increased participation amongst women, continued into the twentieth century. Recent studies have tended to converged on the broad leisure choices of women, ignoring the place of sport within these experiences. This study therefore addresses an under researched topic: the development of women’s participation in sport in Scotland between 1920 and 1937. Many argue that during the interwar years there was a general distortion of the traditional boundaries between ‘public’ and ‘private’ areas of life for women. However, it has also been acknowledged that notions of gender differences persisted in this period. This study contributes to a wider understanding of gender relations during the period. It probes how women’s involvement in physically demanding sports were influenced by existing discourses and enabled the emergence of new ones. This thesis does not aim to chart the chronological growth and development of specific sports but rather seeks to understand the ways in which sport was incorporated into women’s lives and the meanings which they attached to their experiences. Each section of the thesis deals with a different area of participation. It examines the development of physical education in schools, the establishment and growth of a selection of sports organizations, the growth and use of local council run sports facilities and the development of work-based sport for women. This research focuses on contemporary depictions and discussions of sportswomen during these years as well as drawing on the views of sportswomen themselves. It employs both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in order to achieve a holistic and balanced interpretation of interwar sports participation and the attitudes that influenced it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Women, Sport, Leisure, Gender, Interwar, Scotland, Physical Education, Work-based Sport, Council, Advertising, Cartoons, Representations, Scottish Ladies Golf Association, Scottish Lawn Tennis Association, Scottish Women's Hockey Association, modernity
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Supervisor's Name: Hughes, Dr. Annmarie and Gordon, Prof. Eleanor
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Ms Fiona I Skillen
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-515
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:19
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/515

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