Gender Role In Sport

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The story of an average Indian sportswoman often struggles to materialize into heroic tales of achievement, rarely making its way into annals of history. Sport does not fit the cultural role play, traditionally associated with Indian women and as a result, women sporting role models are a rarity. Culturally, sport signifies agency, control over one’s body and strength; the traditional dynamics of masculinity, which help preserve the gender power relationship in favor of men in the society. Thus, to keep social institutions such as sport, within the parameters of the patriarchal world order, women are ‘subaltern-ised’. The present paper explores the media narrativised iconicity of Indian lawn tennis player Sania Mirza which is mainly structured along the discourses of gendered nationalism. The iconicity will be examined to bring forth elements of subordinate gender role play assigned to female sports achievers in the realm of national sporting representation.

Nationalism is a way of thinking and speaking about ‘the self’ in relation to the world, and in the wake of an evidently globalised scenario, it is created through performances which invoke references to the imaginary sentiment of belongingness to a nation. Sport offers the theatrics of nationalism on everyday basis. Owing to the popularity of sporting events in the public spheres of the society, exhibition/creation of nationalism in it, gains validity of an authentic tenor. Different institutions of the society
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