Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2013

Degree Type

Capstone Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)


Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Jaafar Aksikas


This feminist critique interrogates the discourses and practices of gender discrimination in men's professional and collegiate sporting institutions in the United States. This study focuses on delineating and 'naming' the discriminatory ideologies that are (re)produced by dominant social and cultural institutions, revealing in the process how these practices (over)determine gender equality in the professional and collegiate sporting field. To this end, I perform a post-structuralist discourse analysis of what Louis Althusser calls the dominant 'ideological state apparatuses,' namely schools, the media and sporting institutions. I argue that these institutions coalesce to form a network of power that produces, reproduces, and reinforces patriarchal discourses and practices that are not only problematic and contradictory, but also act as social barriers that restrict women from obtaining leadership positions in sports. Based on the literature and data collected on men's basketball in the United States, this study focuses on the category and experience of the 'head-coach' as revelatory of contradictory forms of gender discrimination, marginalization and misrepresentation that exist in men's sporting institutions, especially the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). This study, drawing as it does on critical post-structuralist feminist frameworks, also seeks to contest and subvert the deeper social forces and cultural discourses that promote the phenomenon of institutionalized gender discrimination in sports.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.