The gendering of defining moments: heroic narratives and pivotal points in footballing memories

Woodward, Kath (2019). The gendering of defining moments: heroic narratives and pivotal points in footballing memories. Soccer and Society, 20(7-8) pp. 1108–1117.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2019.1680507

Abstract

Footballing attachments are made through memories not least by being able to say ‘I was there’ or at least ‘I remember where Iwas when we won the World Cup or beat Leeds United 6–0 or when Pele/Cruyff/Kempes/Maradonna/Bergkamp scored or when Messi set up the goal.' You can fill in your own examples, some of which will be more personal and local, and others more global. These memories draw footballing communities together through virtual collective attachments in ‘imagined communities’. In football, heroes are mostly men: heroes with names we know. Where are women in these narratives and how are defining moments made and remade in light of the development of the women’s game? Can the increased visibility of women’s football, put new narratives into discourse and generate opportunities for redefining the pivotal points and great moments? Change is marginal and incremental, but it is happening.

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