Perspectives of Title IX Pioneers
Equity, Equality and Need
Keywords:Title IX, distributive justice, generations
AbstractThe purpose of the study was to analyze the perspectives of Title IX trailblazers noting changes over a 40-year span as identified by participating Mountain West Conference athletic departments. Questions posed to participants focused on Title IX’s impact on participants, their personal contributions to gender equity, and how athletic departments have committed to gender equity over the past 40 years by supporting opportunities for women in athletics. Participants were recruited directly by their respective MWC school, and agreed to be videotaped for a MWC production shared publicly and submitted for a national competition. Video recordings were transcribed and analyzed. From the transcripts a coding system was developed to identify themes and concepts. Coding was undertaken through comparative analysis and in line with the two part process identified by Charmaz (2006). The data were evaluated using the theoretical framework of distributive justice to view women’s experiences in intercollegiate athletics over the 40 year period of Title IX implementation (Mahony & Pastore, 1998). This theoretical grounding was used to illuminate ways in which resource decisions are made which often disadvantage women, and to examine the perceptions of fairness based on equity, equality and need (Mahony & Pastore, 1998) within athletic departments. The integration of the distributive justice framework in the data analysis illuminates the power differentials as well as the challenges women have faced in intercollegiate athletics directly attributable to Title IX. Analysis of the videos compiled revealed three primary themes, 1) Eras / generational differences, 2) Fighting for resources, and 3) Leadership and life skills development, along with several subthemes. Discussion of key themes and the resulting implications are presented.
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