Exploring the complexities of community attitudes towards women’s rugby: Multiplicity, continuity and change in Fiji’s hegemonic rugby discourse

Yoko Kanemasu
James Johnson

Negative societal pressures against women’s participation in traditionally male-dominated sports like rugby are widely acknowledged, but little empirical research has investigated community attitudes associated with such participation, especially in non-Western contexts. This article presents exploratory insights into community attitudes towards women’s rugby in Fiji with a focus on athletic young women, who do not play rugby but are physically active, and their ‘gatekeepers’ or those in positions of influence over athletic young women’s sport-related decision-making. Based on a questionnaire survey (n = 160) and focus groups, the article identifies significant diversity, possible change, and persisting disapproval in community perceptions of women’s participation in rugby. From these findings, the article also draws some insights into the changing dynamics of women’s rugby as a site of hegemonic struggle.

Research Type(s)
Journal Article
Submitted by Almah Tararia
May 31, 2022
Published in
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