Purpose – In the late eighteenth century, golf emerged as a men's game. Since then, women have striven to play, yet without success. A ratio of around 80 percent of male players against 20 percent female proves that women are far from being accepted in golf. This study, supported by qualitative analyses of women golfers' life stories, attempts to evaluate to what extent this prejudice exists. Design/methodology/approach – The ecological system theory, the causal historical wave model, the intrapersonal, interpersonal and structural factors, and the constraints/facilitators paradigm were first used to support the theoretical model that was defined based on the literature. Second, the model was revisited according to textual data collected from 25 narratives of women in the nineteenth century. The present research applies this model throughout a set of six life stories of contemporary Portuguese women who excelled in golf, attempting to test the persistence of this discrimination. Findings – The results highlight that structural and interpersonal factors persist across time. Some aspects of women's lifestyle did not change much since some cultural values are difficult to overcome. The research highlights that the exclusion of women, more than explicit discrimination, is a cultural factor engrained in their daily lives, meaning that women exclude themselves, tacitly accepting this discrimination. Research limitations/implications – The research focuses only on Portuguese women. Further studies should evaluate the pertinence of these factors amongst other nationalities and cultures. Originality/value – The low participation of women in golf is acknowledged by golf stakeholders in Portugal, but this has not been the object of research; thus, to the authors' knowledge, this is the first paper about this subject in Portugal.
International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 4, 2013
Keywords: Gender; Discrimination; Facilitators/constraints; Golf – nineteenth to twenty‐first centuries
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