Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.H.K.

Department

Kinesiology

First Advisor

Paraschak, Victoria

Keywords

Female Athletes, Heavy Events, Highland Games, Hope and Strengths, Throwing

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

In this thesis I explored women’s experiences as participants in Highland Games Heavy Events (HGHE) within a Hope and Strengths Perspective, which is underpinned by Duality of Structure. Through 12 semi-structured interviews with eight athletes and four athletic directors, I examined 1) the history of women’s involvement in the sport of HGHE within North America, 2) how female competitors have a) shaped and b) been shaped by their experiences in HGHE and 3) the newspaper coverage of women HGHE athletes as compared to a) their male counterparts (HE participants) and b) other female participants (in piping and dancing) from 1995-2015. Participants explained their past and current experiences within the HGHE community and how their strengths (both physical and psychological) linked to necessary human and financial resources. A content analysis of newspaper articles showed that female and male coverage of HGHE was almost equal, and largely positive in tone. A textual analysis of those articles documented patterns of female coverage including gender marking, infantilization and sexualisation.

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