Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Origins and Spatial Diffusion of Female Professional Soccer Players in the United States, 1991-2015: Geographical and Socio-Cultural Perspectives
by Bairam, Etem, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 89; 10604414
Abstract (Summary)

In the latter half of the twentieth century and especially in the last twenty-five years, soccer has grown exponentially in the United States. Historically, the country has been lagging behind most of the world when it comes to adoption and diffusion of the sport; however, recent studies suggest that it has been a space of exceptionalism when incorporating the participation of women.

Studies on soccer from a geographic perspective are relatively isolated and demonstrate a tendency to favor male professional athletes. There is no similar research to examine the origins of female professional soccer players. This study will contribute to filling this identified gender gap in geographic sports studies. These previous studies on male professional athletes suggest that they can geographically originate from areas of lower socioeconomic standing. The findings from this study show a distinct contrast between male and female professional athlete origins.

Results reveal that the origins of most female professional players can be connected to suburbanized middle to upper middle class white communities close to major cities mainly in coastal regions. From a per capita perspective, the results also show that states in the West produce more players than states in the East. Socio-cultural perspectives explain these patterns, supporting a common hypothesis that most female professional soccer players in the USA are white and come from areas of relative affluence.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sidorov, Dmitrii
Commitee: Ban, Hyowon, Rodrigue, Christine M.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Geography, Womens studies, Sociology, Gender studies, Recreation
Keywords: Professional sports, Soccer in culture, Soccer in society, Sports diffusion, Sports geography, Women athletes
Publication Number: 10604414
ISBN: 978-0-355-28021-0
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