Date of Award

6-2016

Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Jeffrey Witsoe

Language

English

Keywords

fans, game, female

Abstract

Baseball is known as America’s Pastime and has been a strong symbol of masculinity in American culture. The ratio of female to male fans, however, is actually the most equal of any major professional sport in the United States. This thesis examines that paradox. Drawing on participant observations at games, interviews with fans and an ethnographic study of a sports radio station in Kansas City, I find that the increasing participation of female fans is a result of baseball being experienced and marketed as a family-oriented game. This family experience gave women a point of entry and women have stuck around ever since. In the process, women have become genuine fans and are increasingly involved in running the game itself.

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