Women’s football clubs as specific “societal universe” to girls soccer players in Senegal
The invisibility of women’ sport in Senegalese society bears enormous harm to many women’ sports clubs seeking to grow since its emergence in 1975 and later, the creation of the Women’ National Team in 2001-2002. The reasons of this marginalization are deeply rooted in social practices and culture beliefs namely, the “gendered” perception of football in general, anthropological and socio-cultural realities as well as political and economic ones.
Yet, despite the lack of support from many parents, the role of these football clubs goes beyond the only objectives related to sports competitions and the production of a national elite. Women’ clubs as institutions also position themselves as places of blooming, thus promoting collective interaction, affirmation and self-construction for young girls. Football clubs for girls in Senegal represent a societal universe, a “small society” (Malatesta and Jaccoud 2014) governed by specific rules of living together, where girls share a certain vision of the social world. This societal universe is also the place of confrontation with established standards which shape not only football but also Senegalese society. The main objective of this research project is to lay the premises of a sociological reflection on women’s football clubs in Senegal by taking the case study of three female soccer clubs in St. Louis and Dakar.
This study used an inductive approach, that is better suited to identify specific results for each club. As the first step of the global project, the results of this study is used to draft a further research project to be submitted by the two teams from Switzerland and St. Louis (Senegal) at the National Research Swiss Foundation (SNSF).
The main objective of this research project is to lay the premises of a sociological reflection on women’s football clubs in Senegal by taking the case study of three female soccer clubs in St. Louis and Dakar. The choice of the female soccer clubs will be based on different characteristics. Initially, the origin and the composition of clubs guided the selection of the sample: female football club from a young girls College, regional club as a meeting place for young players from all backgrounds.
1.Visit of female football clubs (presented below)
2. Identify, improve and consolidate the methodological choices
Prof. Dr. Dominique Malatesta, University of Applied sciences and Arts Western Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Diop Sall (Hosting scientist), University Gaston Berger, Saint Louis, Senegal
Mendy Angele Flora (Visiting Fellow), University of Lausanne