The question of how, irrespective of gender, a person becomes a sports fan has been absent in sociological studies of sports supporters. Distinct from other studies of sport spectatorship that focus on the practices of already existing (and overwhelmingly male) fans, our research is the first to consider how women become supporters, and in doing so, it begins to redress the significant under-representation of women in sports fan research. From interviews with female supporters of the Australian Football League (AFL), this article identifies and critically assesses the modes by which women come to support sport. We propose four categories to explain the different ways women accomplish fandom, focusing on the importance of strong social ties and doxic actions in this process. The events, experiences and social relations that inform women's first encounters with AFL offers a template for the wider consideration of women as social agents in the sporting landscape.
Field of Research
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society