sports development

sport & physical activity academic resources

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Women's football in Scotland : an interpretive analysis

E-mail Print

The growing body of literature on women's football has focused mainly on the development of the game and experiences of past and present players. Despite the emergence of research on women's football internationally there has not yet been exclusive attention to either of these areas in the Scottish context.

Using an interpretive framework this thesis is organised around four main themes: the development of women's football in Scotland; socio-demographic characteristics of women footballers; the process of socialisation; and, the subculture of women's football. The synthesis of elements within the interpretive framework ensures that the research offers an interpretation that is both contextualised historically and informed by an understanding of the meaning of football in the context of players' private lives. In relation to the history of the game, the development of women's football in Scotland has indeed been shaped by the particular Scottish context.

The research concludes that the socialisation of women into football in Scotland is an interactive and often a reciprocal process. The subculture of women's football in Scotland is characterised by three interlocking group cultures. The meaning of football in players' lives influences the nature of their individual membership to these group cultures and the importance they attach to elements of subcultural capital. The various meanings attached to football give rise to potential sources of tension between the dominant, emergent and residual elements of culture within the subculture.

This original theoretically and empirically informed study of women's football in Scotland makes a contribution to the growing body of research on women's football and to our understanding of the social and historical significance of sport in Scottish society.



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.

To reference an eThesis the convention in the text is the same as a book; author (date), in the reference list there is some debate; theses are more often than not, unpublished works, yet when listed on databases at Universities or elsewhere it could be argued that they are published.

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 :   Macbeth, J.L. (2004). Women's football in Scotland : an interpretive analysis. PhD Thesis. Stirling: University of Stirling. 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 ]


Access this URL (, J.L. (2004). Women's football in Scotland : an interpretive analysis. PhD Thesis. Stirling: University of Stirling.
Last Updated on Sunday, 26 August 2012 13:34  

Student Zone