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Title: The role of women in decision-making positions: the case of Israeli sport organisations
Authors: Betzer-Tayar, Moran
Keywords: Israel
Gender equity
Critical discourse analysis
Feminist theory
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: © Moran Betzer-Tayar
Abstract: This thesis analyses discourses about the roles and barriers to access for women to decision-making positions in Israeli sport organisations. In particular it focuses on the exploration of discourses of masculinity and femininity that underpin the relatively recent construction of Israel society and the institutions of sport within it. It is observed that for the most part, Israeli sport organisations are governed by men and have served the interests of forms of hegemonic masculinity. In order to understand and explore the social construction of these gendered discourses in Israeli sport, two innovative and significant policy initiatives toward gender equity in sport were explored through the perceptions and discourses of key actors. These include the establishment of a Volleyball Academy for Young Talented Girls (VAYTG) and the creation of the National Project for Women and Sport (NPWS). The theoretical framework for this thesis is informed by poststructuralist feminism, which provided an alternative way to understand and analyse voices of the (predominantly female) 'other' and thus to explore the historical contextual construction of current discourses of masculinity within Israeli sport organisations and society as a whole. The process of narrative revisions and production of gendered knowledge revealed how discourses produce and reinforce gender inequities in Israeli society, such as the discourse of militarisation or the unique political affiliation system in the sporting arena which continue to implicitly exclude women (and some men) from gaining access to leadership positions in sport organisations. Within this theoretical frame, Critical Discourse Analysis was employed as a methodological approach to analyse how female and male interviewees, all considered to be 'insiders' within their organisations, explained the process of the construction of gendered roles and barriers. Included in the interview data was also the auto-ethnographical accounts of the author, who was a primary actor in the process of developing policy in the two case study initiatives addressed. Dominant discourses of femininity (such as the discourse of sisterhood and of the processes of mentoring), and of masculinity (and how these promote uniformity) were identified as mechanisms for reproducing the gendered reality of sport leadership in Israel. The implication of a critical theoretical approach is that it should be emancipatory in its ambitions and impact, and the study is intended to contribute to enhancing the understanding of how discourse not only reflects but also creates barriers and opportunities so that the construction of such barriers can be challenged in progressive policy discourses.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/12089
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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