A Beautiful Game
International Perspectives on Women's Football
FIFA, the world governing body of association football, declared ‘The Future is Feminine' in a 1995 press release. Since then, football has been claimed as the fastest growing participation sport for women globally. An estimated twenty million women play the game around the world, and that figure is on the rise. However, the history of women's participation goes back to at least 1895 and in our enthusiasm for the present, the memory of that longer history can be overlooked or forgotten.A Beautiful Game examines contemporary women's football internationally, with case studies from England, the United States, China and Australia. In each case study, Jean Williams considers the evolution of the women's game against a backdrop of issues, such as media representation, access to facilities, lack of resources, coaching, sponsorship, talent identification, training and professionalisation. The author examines contentious questions, such as why women are absent from the highest levels of professional football, combining source material from archives, oral history and artefacts.A Beautiful Game analyses the status and image of the women's game from the late nineteenth century to the shifting social values of the present.
Jean Williams is a Senior Research Fellow in the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, teaches the MA in the History and Culture of Sport and Leisure and on the FIFA-sponsored International Masters in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport.
Introduction: From A Game for Rough Girls to A Beautiful Game: Dusting the Mirror of Women's Football.
The US Case Study: The Girls of Summer?
Case Study of the PR China: The Iron Roses
Case Study of England: A Grass Ceiling?
Case Study of Australia: Waltzing with the Matildas
Conclusion: Fair Game?
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224pp, bibliography, index
|'A Beautiful Game is an innovative and passionately argued book, with a fascinating story to tell. It is the first authoritative and comprehensive study of the development of women's football throughout the world. It is surely set to become the definitive work in the field.'Matthew Taylor, University of Portsmouth '...provides many useful historical references, and asks several questions on the role played by women in football today, and in the future.'Programme Monthly (Jan 2008)|