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Type: Journal article
Title: Motherhood within elite sport discourse: the case of Keli Lane
Author: Cosh, S.
Crabb, S.
Citation: Psychology of Women Section Review, 2012; 14(2):41-49
Publisher: The British Psychological Society
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1466-3724
Statement of
Suzanne Cosh and Shona Crabb
Abstract: Motherhood and participation in elite sport have traditionally been viewed as at odds with each other. However, mothers competing at the pinnacle of sport are becoming more common. Despite such trends, motherhood often remains invisible and taboo within the sphere of elite sport and little research has addressed athletes who are mothers. In order to explore popular accounts of motherhood and elite sport, we examined 326 media reports of the case of Keli Lane, an Australian water polo player who was convicted of murdering her infant in order to pursue her sporting goals. We draw on a social constructionist and critical approach to discursive analysis in order to explore repeated patterns of constructions of athlete identity and motherhood. We argue that within these media accounts, the identities of 'elite athlete' and 'mother' were depicted as mutually exclusive. Morever, the role of the broader context of elite sporting culture and organisations in influencing the combination of motherhood and elite sport participation was rendered invisible within these accounts. The implications for female athletes, especially mothers, are discussed.
Rights: © British Psychological Society
RMID: 0020127188
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Appears in Collections:Public Health publications

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