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Women’s sporting lives: a biographical study of elite amateur tennis players at Wimbledon

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The history of amateur tennis pre and post the Second World War is dominated by the sporting biographies of male players with women’s stories largely ignored. This research addressed the issue of women tennis players’ marginalisation through a biographical analysis of the women’s amateur circuit with particular emphasis on the previously untold story of four British tennis players: Mrs. Phyllis King (née Mudford, who competed at the Wimbledon Championships 1928-1953), Mrs. Joan Hughesman (née Curry, Wimbledon 1939-1960), Mrs. Joy Michelle (née Hibbert, Wimbledon 1947- 1957), Mrs. Christine Janes (née Truman, Wimbledon 1957-1974). The lives of the women were investigated utilising biographical methods of life story interviews and analysis of life documents including published biographies and archival and media sources. Gender and social class emerged as key themes which were explored through the microcosm of women’s tennis shedding new light on a wide range of issues from the influence of family, gender role expectations and life on the amateur tennis circuit.

The findings reveal the significance of fashion in British tennis whereby it is argued that choice of clothing was a form of gender compliance. Further to this the contributions of fashion designer Teddy Tinling is recognised as a key factor in changing the shape of women’s tennis post the Second World War. The research reveals the key role sport played in shaping the women’s identity from the onset of their playing careers through to their retirement from sport



editors comments

Editor's comments -  [ The above is the abstract from an original PhD thesis; the final publication in the study for the author in pursuit of a doctorate; such works result in the author being awarded a PhD and the title of Dr. by an appropriately accedited University. PhD's are the culmination of a number of years work by the author supervised by two (normally PhD or MPhil qualified) academics and, with the addition of a further appropriately qualified academic (not normally from the same University) as part of a viva-voce examination team. Successful research work at PhD level is designed to add to the body of knowledge in the study area at some level.

A PhD thesis often forms the foundation for journal articles for the author and leads to further enquiry in the form of what is called post-doctoral research. These works are characterised by comprehensive literature reviews, sometimes traditional yet multiple (and often mixed) methods, interesting if not ground breaking discussions and always directional signs toward further research; they provide for undergraduates not only a model for the possibilities for further study but a gift in terms of references in any given subject areas.

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Our best advice is to reference list internet sourced theses as ‘published’…. ie.; Author, (date). Title (emphasised). Place of publication and (university) publisher. Available from: URL reference. See our example reference below. ]


APA reference for this document


Reference :  van Someren, J. (2010). Women’s sporting lives: a biographical study of elite amateur tennis players at Wimbledon. Doctoral Thesis. Southampton:  University of Southampton. Available at


The above reference is in the APA style: See why this is important in our [how to reference] us guide.
PhD publications are normally published under Creative Commons Licence conditions in that you must attribute the work appropriately (use the reference above), must not distribute for commercial means and must not alter the work in any way. For a full copy of the CCL please see here. [Use of this document may be limited by © copyright ; by downloading you consent to our terms and conditions ]


Download this file (PhD_Janine_van_Someren.pdf)PhD_Janine_van_Someren.pdf van Someren, J. (2010). Women’s sporting lives: a biographical study of elite amateur tennis players at Wimbledon. Doctoral Thesis. Southampton: University of Southampton
Last Updated on Monday, 27 August 2012 07:31  

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