Arbeitstitel des Dissertationsvorhabens

"Women’s Amateur Football in Brazil’s Metropolis – the Negotiation of Urban Space and Gender in Sports"

Betreuung: Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kummels


Sport is an important field for negotiating social conflicts and power struggles, including gender issues. Due to the visibility of many sports, changes in gender relations can effect the gender relations of a society. In the case of football, one of the most popular sports in the world, the urban space is the main scene for the negotiating processes.

In my PhD project I will analyze the negotiation processes between women and men in amateur football in the Brazilian metropolis Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and the access of women to amateur football structures.

Football plays an important role in the Brazilian society. Women and girls have been discriminated against as amateur football players in Brazil for a long time. Therefore, I will investigate how women currently gain access to amateur football structures in the Brazilian metropolis, how they negotiate their participation, and what part sports related organizations and public institutions take. I aim to draw conclusions on the positioning of women in the urban sports space in both cities as well as in the Brazilian society.

In order to approach this subject, I will examine the current literature, and do both archival research and intensive fieldwork in Brazil. Through participative observations and interviews, I will identify the practices, dynamics, structures and the different players in the women’s amateur football field in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The presence and the participation of women in the urban sport space and the concrete negotiating processes related to gender are at the center of my analysis. Additionally, I will consider the political framework in both cities as it relates to sports and will also examine the origins of potential inequalities.

Former cultural anthropological and sociological research on female and amateur football did not consider the important social significance of football in the Brazilian context. New dynamics in Brazilian women’s amateur football also make it an important social issue. Moreover, the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro raise new questions about sports politics and gender inequalities that I will consider in my project.