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Is Women’s Rugby Culture being Sacrificed for the Professionalization of the Sport? An Ethnographic Study of the Bryn Mawr-Haverford Women’s Rugby Team

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Title: Is Women’s Rugby Culture being Sacrificed for the Professionalization of the Sport? An Ethnographic Study of the Bryn Mawr-Haverford Women’s Rugby Team
Author: Dybbro, Micaela
Advisor: Gillette, Maris
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Anthropology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 70892 bytes375047 bytes
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: This ethnographic thesis investigates collegiate women’s rugby and the conflict between the ‘cultural ideology’ surrounding the sport and a current drive towards what I term a ‘professionalization’ of women’s rugby. The focus of the thesis is on the Bryn Mawr-Haverford women’s rugby team, a bi-college team comprised of women from both college campuses. One side on the debate on the future of women’s rugby in the United States advocates a more professionalized image of the sport. The organization, USA Rugby, for example, is pushing for varsity status for collegiate club teams. In this way, they hope to achieve a more ‘legitimate’ image that will help raise funding opportunities and increase competitiveness among US teams. However, rugby’s historical status as a marginalized sport and its strong ties to an alternative rugby culture result in a strong resistance to professionalization. On the Bryn Mawr-Haverford team, changes in recent years have led to what I describe as a more ‘heterosexual’ and ‘mainstream’ image. In the past, the team has also been perceived as less legitimate than other sports at Bryn Mawr and Haverford. Moving away from an aggressively alternative team identity associated with lesbianism, rowdiness, hard partying, and open sexuality has helped the team become more integrated into the athletic environment at Bryn Mawr. However, this professionalization of the team image has also been at the expense of traditional rugby culture.
Subject: Rugby football -- Social aspects
Subject: Bryn Mawr College -- Rugby football
Subject: Haverford College -- Rugby football
Subject: Rugby football for women
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/1436

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2008DybbroM_HCOnly.pdf Complete thesis (Haverford users only) 366.2Kb PDF
2008DybbroM_release.pdf ** Archived Staff Only ** 69.23Kb PDF

Citation

Dybbro, Micaela. "Is Women’s Rugby Culture being Sacrificed for the Professionalization of the Sport? An Ethnographic Study of the Bryn Mawr-Haverford Women’s Rugby Team". 2008. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/1436.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/

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