A Contested Field: The Impact of Ideology on Women’s Sport Participation in China and Saudi Arabia
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This paper explores the impact of ideology on women’s participation in sport in China and Saudi Arabia. In the case of China and Saudi Arabia, the dominant ideologies, Communism and Islam respectively, work to cultivate an adherence to a set of political and cultural ideals, which directs activity toward the maintenance of the existing gender order The respective pervading ideologies have been shown to have a significant impact on women’s participation in sport, though notably not a singular prescribed outcome. In China, the prevailing communist ideology promotes nationalism and gender equality, which has led to a high rate of women’s participation in sport. While in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi ideology, or its particular interpretation of Islam, admonishes women for participating in sport because, according to the conservative clerics, sport disregards Islamic requirements for modesty. This has led to the low rate of women’s participation in sport in Saudi Arabia. A strong pervading ideology does not necessarily determine the rate of women’s participation in sport but rather what the ideology’s principles are can either promote or discourage women’s sport participation. Examining how different pervading ideologies have impacted women’s participation in sport has continued to be a provoking research space, as the status of sportswomen is often an indicator of the status of women in the country as a whole. This under-researched sub-topic of sport studies is continually evolving, constantly expanding and now, more than ever, growing in prominence.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2012
- F&M Theses Collection 
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