Griffith University researcher Dr Adele Pavlidis has been awarded a $20,000 grant to research the Women’s AFL competition which began its inaugural season last weekend.
She says it’s important not to make assumptions about women’s strength and skills at this early stage and they should be judged on their merits and not compared to the men’s game.
“Some of the rules changes, for example, how the chest area has been made sacrosanct, needs to be further justified. This wholesale rule change will alter the way the game is played with no medical reason.”
She will interview administrators and players over coming months, as well as analysing media coverage of the sport.
“My research aims to support the long-term sustainability of women’s sport both at the grassroots and professional levels.
“Long-term sustainability means there are opportunities for women to influence and shape the future of sport, and that equality and inclusion are top of the agenda.”
Dr Pavlidis is an interdisciplinary sociologist working at the nexus of women and sport. Drawing on feminist perspectives of organisations, affect and emotion, and identity, Dr Pavlidis has published her work in internationally reputable journals in the fields of sport and leisure.
Current research includes a project examining the changing nature of sport competition as women’s participation in diverse contexts becomes more visible through mainstream, alternative and social media.