Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Seo Young Park

Reader 2

Diana Selig

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Rights Information

© 2017 Kris M. Brackmann


In this ethnography (anthropology thesis) I explored the binary gender division in modern sports culture through the analysis of stereotypes shaped by the history of women's sport, iconography of female athletes portrayed by mainstream media, and the reinforcement of stigma and pressure to conform to social norms by the normalized everyday discourse of college men and women at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. Even though Title IX brought significant gender equality to sport in terms of women's access to athletic participation and facilities, I argue that there is still much work to do to modify social attitudes toward women's sports. While CMS female student-athletes have a keen awareness of the existing gender disparity of athleticism and make criticisms of the male-dominated hegemony, they sometimes reproduce the very same disparity they are subjected to by reinforcing internalized stereotypes through articulations of female homosocial spaces, feminine ideals, and the worthy emulation of men's sports. Thus, I argue that women hold a great deal of agency to promote gender equality in sports culture through a reevaluation of the way they think and talk about traditional masculinity and femininity, athletic performance, body image, and sexuality.