Posts By / jcaudwell

Gender Research Group

The Gender Research Group (GRG) was established in June 2019 following workshops attended by academic staff from the Faculty of Management. The group met to share their past and present gender-related research activities, and to discuss future research plans. During the workshops a number of objectives were agreed by the group, these include:

  • To increase the visibility of gender-related research across BU
  • To support and mentor group members around research bidding, including interdisciplinary projects, and research outputs
  • To align with and influence BU2025 in regard to the growth of Strategic Investment Areas (SIAs), and engagement with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5
  • To impact internal practices and policy in line with Athena Swan
  • To embed gender equality across the curriculum to support Athena Swan
  • To strengthen the representation of gender-related research by empowering and celebrating female research achievements

Moving forward, the Women’s Academic Network (WAN) will support the next meeting of the Gender Research Group, which will be at the start of November 2019. This meeting is open to all academic staff from across BU.

If you have a staff research profile that is linked to gender, or you intend to engage with gender-related research in the future, and you are interested in attending the next GRG meeting, please contact:

Jayne Caudwell ( and Paola Vizcaino (

Safe Swim: Supporting physical activity and wellbeing for transgender young people

As the month of Pride begins, focus group research linked to a British Academy Small Grant project explored the benefits of water-based active leisure for a local transgender group. On Saturday 1st June, at Bournemouth Library in The Triangle, research participants shared their experiences of attending a local swimming pool during privately hired sessions. The cost of the private-hire sessions are covered by the BA Grant and this affords the group exclusive access. Initial findings reveal that such access means group members feel safe, and are able to support each other. Many of the group had stopped swimming and not visited a pool for a long time because of perceived and actual transphobia as well as feelings of fear, and becoming isolated.

The focus group covered topics such as: How important is physical activity to transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming participants? How have the swimming sessions made you feel about your body? And, do you want the sessions to carry on? A transgender artist attended the focus group and captured the responses via illustrations.

The findings, so far, indicate the positive social and wellbeing aspects of attending the pool sessions. Physical activity was viewed as important in enabling good mental health. Having fun, feeling liberated and free, and being in your own body were common themes. At the same time, feeling unwelcome in public space, and changing room infrastructure presented barriers to active involvement.

During the month of Pride, we cannot forget that statistics indicate LGBTQ+ experience higher levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal feelings as a consequence of feeling isolated, and experiences of rejection and bullying. Within the community, the figures are higher for transgender people (see: 

If you would like to more about the project please contact: Jayne Caudwell ( and Carly Stewart (

The Women’s Academic Network (WAN) Symposium on Sexual Harassment in Academia

Sexual harassment in academia was the serious and, as our eminent keynote speakers demonstrated, woefully neglected subject of the 3rdAnnual Women’s Academic Network (WAN) Symposium on the 29thof May, 2019.

Eva Tutchell, an expert education adviser working with all age groups on gender issues, and John Edmonds, former General Secretary of the GMB trade union and Visiting Fellow of Kings College London and a Visiting Professor at Durham University Business School, presented their current research. Their study is an incisive and eye-opening account of the scale of sexual harassment among both staff and students in higher education. In particular they highlighted the difficulties faced by victims and survivors when they try to seek help and report incidents, especially the failure of universities to develop clear and accessible policies and procedures until engulfed by a sexual abuse scandal. We very much look forward to the publication of their book later this year: Unsafe Spaces: Ending sexual abuse in Universities.

WAN co-founder Heather Savigny, a Professor at De Montfort University, identified the pernicious ways in which the online abuse of female academics has the effect of discriminating against them in relation to REF and Impact outcomes. This on-line abuse can discouraged women academics from maintaining the high profile and public engagement which can form the core criteria of dissemination, reach and impact. Heather’s research indicates that on-line abuse is a form of ‘cultural sexism’ that can serve to ‘silence’ of women. She wryly noted that her own experiences of on-line abuse while patently demonstrating ‘impact’ were not counted as such.

Finally Peter Hills, Head of the Psychology Department at BU, reviewed his research with undergraduates which worryingly revealed the gulf in their judgement of consent in relation to a variety of scenarios from consensual sex to sexual harassment and abuse. Dr. Hills’ aim is to find more effective ways of communicating the important message that only a verbally expressed ‘yes’ counts as consent.

The talks generated much lively discussion and ideas for future research. The topic of sexual harassment in academia will be followed up in forthcoming WAN events.

If you would like to join WAN please contact Frances, Lorraine, Jayne or Sara: 

Symposium on Sexual Harassment in HEIs

Wednesday 29th May 10.00am-1.30pm (includes lunch and open to all)

Create Lecture Theatre, Fusion Building. Talbot Campus

This symposium, organised by BU Women’s Academic Network, brings to the fore research to challenge sexual harassment and gender-based violence on campus. Relatively recently, key institutions within the UK are making positive moves to put in place procedures to change cultures of acceptable conduct within Higher Education e.g., Following this shift to confront sexual harassment, this symposium offers a research-informed forum to raise awareness; it extends BU 2025 values of inclusivity and responsibility to an topic that is often ignored.

The morning will consist of the following presentations:

Speakers: Eva Tutchell and John Edmonds ‘Unsafe Spaces: Ending sexual abuse in Universities’

Eva started her career as a secondary school teacher and then worked for many years as an education adviser working with all age groups on gender issues. Her book Dolls and Dungarees is recommended reading for primary school teachers. She has researched attitudes of teenage boys and published guidance for schools and colleges on disordered eating.

John was General Secretary of the GMB trade union for 17 years where he increased the representation of women throughout the union. He also served as TUC President. He is a Visiting Fellow of Kings College London and a Visiting Professor at Durham University Business School.

Eva and John have been commissioned by Emerald Publishing to write about sexual misconduct and abuse in Institutes of Higher Education.

Speaker: Professor Heather Savigny ‘Gendered reflection on the impact of the REF as ‘cultural sexism’

Heather is Professor of Gender, Media and Politics at Leicester Media School, De Montfort University

Offering a feminist and intersectional (Crenshaw, 1991) analysis using survey and interview data, this paper explores the impact of social media engagement on female academics themselves, in order to understand the ways in which women experience ‘cultural sexism’ alongside ‘symbolic violence’ in the mediated public sphere. Fundamentally, ethically, this paper asks political questions about the nature of power in a policy agenda, shored up through social media usage, which fails to acknowledge the mediated embedding of masculinized knowledge and cultural sexism, as features which can serve to silence (Beard, 2017), ‘discipline and punish’ a diversity of academic women.

Speaker: Dr Peter Hills Sexual assault and acquaintance rape

Peter is Head of the Psychology Department at Bournemouth University

Peter’s research explores a number of areas of misogyny, sexual violence, and acquaintance rape. In this theme, his work has been around exploring the public’s attitudes to misogyny (both online and offline) and acquaintance rape and ways to reduce both. The work he will present concerns an evaluation of a recent campaign that has been run at Bournemouth University aimed to raise awareness of sexual assault and acquaintance rape. In particular, Peter will explore how attitudes in the University have been modified by this campaign and use the lessons learnt to inform best practice in reducing such behaviours.

For further information contact Lorraine Brown, Jayne Caudwell and Sara Ashencean Crabtree.

Women’s Academic Network (WAN) Symposium: Sexual Harassment in Academia

International public campaigns such as the #MeToo movement have meant sexual harassment is receiving increased global media attention. Accompanying this raised awareness is a focus on the harmful consequences of sexual misconduct for staff and students within universities and colleges. The University and College Union (UCU) reports: “Sexual harassment and abuse is overwhelmingly, although not exclusively, experienced by women and contributes to other workplace inequalities faced by female members and students.” (

Research indicates that sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct and gender-based violence often go unreported ( The reasons for not reporting are complex, but can include issues surrounding stigma and taboo.

On Wednesday 29 May, the Women’s Academic Network will host a symposium on the topic of sexual harassment in academia. The event will be held on Talbot campus, Fusion building. It will start at 10am with registration and coffee, and finish at 2pm. Lunch will be provided. The symposium will involve speakers presenting their research, and allow for audience discussion/dialogue.

Further details to follow. In the meantime, if you are interested in attending please contact WAN co-convenors: Dr. Lorraine Brown ( and Dr. Jayne Caudwell (


Call for Chapters – Leisure and Forced Migration: Lives Lived in the Asylum System

Editors Dr Nicola De Martini Ugolotti (Department of Sport & Physical Activity) and Dr Jayne Caudwell (Department of Events & Leisure) are seeking chapters for their Routledge commissioned book.

In the collection, leisure will be considered in its broadest sense to include practices and contexts such as recreational physical activities and active leisure, expressive and artistic endeavours, moments and places of consumption and sociality, cultural and religious events, the everyday, routine and mundane.

Building on the contribution of critical leisure studies perspectives on class, gender, race and ethnicity, and migration, we welcome work from multiple disciplinary perspectives, including sociology, cultural geography, gender studies, migration studies, anthropology and the humanities. In particular, we invite contributions from non-western and global south contexts, and from community activists/organizers.

For further details please visit the Leisure Studies Association webpage:

CfC: Leisure and Forced Migration: Reframing critical analysis of lives lived in the asylum system


Women’s Academic Network Research Seminar on Gender, Race & Ethnicity

As gender intersects with race and ethnicity it is important to make visible the experiences of ethnic ‘Other’ women (Ratna and Samie, 2017). The intersection causes deep-rooted prejudice, discrimination and injustice that is evidenced within Higher Education for staff and students (;


Last week, in the inaugural WAN Gender Research Seminar, Dr Hyun-Joo Lim and Dr Deborah Gabriel presented their published academic research that shows how political and societal structures, cultures and every-day practices produce inequalities for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women, and men.


A key concern, which was demonstrated through both of their long-term qualitative research projects, is that despite established policy and legislative frameworks ethnic ‘Other’ women continue to face unequal and unjust treatment. This is corroborated through statistics that reveal the quantities of inequality around the world ( However, both presenters argue that it is the lived experiences of BME women, and men, that must be made visible in order to properly reveal the subtle, and sometimes insidious, mechanisms of discrimination. Such a methodology enables deep and detailed knowledge that can produce change at a faster rate than at present. It is the intricacies within political and societal structures, cultures and practices that require our attention as academics, and scholars.


The seminar participants discussed the significance of the presented research – methodologies and empirical findings – as well as the reach of the research in terms of making a difference. Through sharing their work with students and staff at Bournemouth University, Dr Lim and Dr Gabriel connect research and pedagogy. We are better educated in the harsh realities women often experience. For example, the brutal human rights abuses faced by women who escape North Korea (, and the effects of a lack of critical conscious when it comes to white privilege within Higher Education in the UK. Education is the first step. The next steps involve activism and transformation of the status quo.


The seminar achieved three main aspects. First, it provided a critical forum to discuss frequently marginalised aspects of gender research – the intersections of race, ethnicity and gender. Second, it made explicit that official policy and legislation often mask contemporary inequalities and serve to present issues as no longer in need of scrutiny. Finally, that a focus on the personal and everyday is in order to theorise and implement change. Especially the adoption of a critical conscious by those with privilege and power (


If you would like to present gendered-related research at the WAN Gender Research Seminar Series, please contact co-convenors:


Jayne Caudwell:

Lorraine Brown:

Francis Hawkhead:

Women’s Academic Network (WAN): Gender Research Seminar Series

BU Women’s Academic Network (WAN) launches its Gender Research Seminar Series on Wednesday 28th November 1.30-3.30 (Room: Fusion 112). The inaugural seminar addresses gender, race and ethnicity, and celebrates the excellent work of two BU women academics: Dr Deborah Gabriel and Dr Hyun-Joo Lim.


Dr Gabriel is a senior lecturer in politics, media & communication and co-author of Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of Women of Colour Surviving and Thriving in British Academia. Her seminar presentation is entitled:Inside the Ivory Tower: Advancing a Black Feminist Strategy for Race and Gender Equality. The abstract is as follows:

Gender – like other facets of identity have always been approached institutionally from a monocultural standpoint, through essentialised categories that make up ‘protected’ characteristics within Equality and Diversity policy. This has contributed to the exclusion, invisibility and stagnant career progress of women of colour, since their needs are only considered as an afterthought. This has led to tokenistic efforts centred on ‘promoting diversity’ rather than strategic interventions to address barriers to equality, especially in relation to White privilege. In this presentation, Deborah Gabriel discusses Black British Academics’ Ivory Tower project, designed to promote critical consciousness and agency – key themes within a Black Feminist standpoint and important components for developing a critical race strategy to facilitate an intersectional agenda for race equality.​


Dr Hyun-Joo Limis a senior lecturer in sociology and author of East Asian Mothers in Britain: An Intersectional Exploration of Motherhood and Employment. Her presentation is entitled: No freedom: the abuse and inhumane experiences of women inside and outside North Korea. The abstract is as follows:

North Korean women are routinely subject to systemic human rights abuse and sexual violation inside and outside North Korea. As a result of the strong influence of Confucian patriarchy, women inside North Korea face a violation of basic rights and inequality on a daily basis. In addition, for the many who successfully escape their country to gain a better life and overcome hunger, the search for freedom is just as tough, as they are frequently abducted, sold and exploited by traffickers. In this presentation I will talk about my research on North Korean female defectors living in the UK and the systemic human rights abuse they experienced both inside and outside their homeland, specifically in China.


The seminar is open to all. If you wish to attend please email the co-conveners of WAN so that we can keep track of numbers.

Jayne Caudwell:

Lorraine Brown:

Francis Hawkhead:

BA Small Research Grant Awarded for project – Safe Swim: Supporting physical activity and wellbeing for transgender people

Jayne Caudwell (Department of Events & Leisure) and Carly Stewart (Department of Sport & Physical Activity) were successful in the last round of the British Academy Small Grants Scheme. Their research project will contribute preliminary qualitative research findings to inform future provision for transgender and non-binary swim-related activities and opportunities.

Statistics demonstrate that LGBT+ have higher levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal feelings as a consequence of feeling isolated, and experiences of rejection and bullying. The research project involves a Bournemouth-based transgender group. It focuses on their swim-related activities to explore the benefits of water-based physical activity. Currently, the group privately hires a local pool and by invitation the researchers have attended on three occasions. Preliminary participant observation has identified that group members look forward to the opportunity to swim. Swimming as a form of physical activity can enhance subjective wellbeing. However, there is evidence in the tabloid print media that public response to Swim England’s ‘Guide to Engaging Trans People in Swimming’ (December 2017) involved elements of transphobia. Specifically, a negative reaction to transgender women using female changing rooms. The funded project will provide in-depth research findings in order to influence current policy-formation.

LGBT+ experiences of sport, physical activity and embodied movement continue to be significant concerns given the barriers, constraints, prejudice and discrimination evident within institutionalised sport and physical activity. Since the 1990s sport and leisure studies scholars have documented lesbian and gay peoples’ experiences of participation. This research has helped improve opportunities for lesbian and gay people to participate by raising awareness and increased inclusion and provision. More recently, there has been a turn to transgender participants and issues surrounding the often-constraining binary arrangement and organisation of sport and physical activity. This turn is important because it highlights the different hostilities transgender and non-binary individuals face compared with lesbian and gay participants. However, the focus of this emerging research—transgender and non-binary participation—tends to be competitive sport and the structures that regulate and confirm binary-sex and gender. Less is known about grassroots participation, and/or the new/emerging opportunities and bodily pleasures transgender and non-binary individuals and communities create for themselves and for each other.

There are a small number of transgender and gender non-conforming swim groups in the UK, but there is no current research that captures transgender and non-binary experiences of swim-related activities such as negotiating access to pool time, negotiating access to changing facilities, and the thoughts, feelings and embodied experiences regarding being in the water. As such, the now-funded research is underpinned by the following objectives:

1. To work with a local transgender group to collect, process and disseminate qualitative research findings on how access to swimming facilities impacts individual and group wellbeing.

2. To explore past and present experiences of swimming for transgender and non-binary participants through interviews and focus group research.

3. To access details related to embodied experiences, which might not emerge from traditional methods such as interviews and focus groups, through visual methods such as drawings, photographs, video diaries and digital story telling.

4. To produce, for public consumption, a visual/art representation of the research participants’ experiences of swimming.

Why this football tournament should be called the men’s World Cup

We forget that “football” actually means “men’s football”. It’s the same with other popular sports – our habit is to refer to basketball and women’s basketball, cricket and women’s cricket, ice hockey and women’s ice hockey. This naming places men’s football as the dominant universal and natural norm, while women’s football becomes the “other” version.

If we want a level football playing field, then “football” should be redefined by changing our reference to tournaments, championships and leagues to “men’s football” if that is what is being played. It’s time we started referring to the men’s football World Cup, just as we refer to the women’s football World Cup.

Read more at:


LGBT+ Sport, Leisure and Wellbeing

To mark LGBT History Month and Football v Homophobia Month of Action [see:] staff in the Departments of Sport & Physical Activity (Carly Stewart, Emma Kavanagh & Adi Adams) and Events & Leisure (Jayne Caudwell) ran a LBGT+ Sport, Leisure and Wellbeing symposium (Weds 21st Feb). Statistics demonstrate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia exist in sport, physical activity and active leisure. For instance, Stonewall reported (2016) that 72% of football fans have witnessed homophobic abuse, and 43% of LGBT people consider public sporting events as unwelcoming for LGBT people.

At the symposium, we discussed experiences of, and challenges to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Speakers included Communi-T, a Bournemouth based social group for trans people and anyone who is on the trans spectrum. We know little about transgender and non-binary people’s participation in sport, physical activity and active leisure. The symposium provided opportunity to consider what can be done to address incidents of transphobia. A significant issue is the way we organise sport, physical activity and active leisure, especially infrastructures such as the changing rooms. This aspect was the focus for one of the speakers – Ali Greey a Masters student at the University of Toronto. Ali provided a compelling pre-recorded presentation entitled: It’s a bad case of the locker room blues [see:]

The symposium was supported by local organisations keen to address homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Speakers from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue service, Dorset Police and Dorset Football Association discussed policies of inclusion and processes of reporting hate crime as well as the Prejudice Free Dorset partnership.

New Premier League season begins … but child abuse scandal hangs heavy over football

In The Conversation, Jayne Caudwell working with colleagues at the University of Waikato (NZ), Brunel and Leeds Beckett Universities return to the on-going national inquiry into historical sexual abuse in football.

Much of the shock at the abuse allegations and convictions comes from the fact that the victims are men. Stereotypically, child sexual abuse in sport has been seen as being about male perpetrators and female victims. But the recent cases have shattered this myth, revealing that boys and men experience sexual abuse, too.

Undoubtedly, this stereotype acted as an obstacle for men to speak out about sexual abuse, because of the misconception that “real” sports boys and sportsmen are not “victims” of sex crimes.

This is hardly surprising, since the early 1990s, feminist research has exposed the often damaging connections between masculinity and sport. Football locker rooms and clubs are traditionally very masculine and male environments, and evidence has shown that expectations of how male sports stars should and should not behave can demean, devalue and devastate the lives of individual athletes.


Sportswomen continue to face sexism

After last week’s media exposure of BBC unequal pay and clear evidence of a gender pay gap, it’s important that we continue to examine sexism within UK’s key institutions. Focusing on sport and leisure, Jayne Caudwell with three colleagues working at other HEIs argue that a critical approach such as feminism remains crucial to identifying, challenging and transforming sexist practices and cultures.

Female athletes and leaders are undeniably more visible and increasingly successful in sport – putting in incredible performances both on and off the field. But these achievements still occur in a male defined sport sector – where female stars have to tackle marginalisation and sexualisation of their sporting performance and leadership skills.

Recent research also suggests that coverage of women’s sports has actually become more sexist over the past four years – making it clear that in the current age, everyday sexism characterises the culture of sport.

Vicious cycle: the ‘troublemakers’ tackling sexism in elite sport.

Published in The Conversation: Carly Stewart and Jayne Caudwell, referring to recent incidents in British cycling and drawing from women’s autobiographies, offer a critique of post-feminism:

A number of top women cyclists have claimed, publicly, that they have experienced and/or witnessed sexism in their sport. As a consequence, some of these women have been branded troublemakers. Given this backlash, we argue for an increased awareness of the post-feminist filters through which we view elite sport, and we suggest that such an awareness might ensure that women who do speak out about sexism are not dismissed as individual troublemakers.

Autobiographies by elite sportswomen, and sportsmen, provide detailed accounts of the everyday lived experiences of the culture of competitive sport. These testimonies are often ignored. And yet, they throw light on the practices that constitute gender relations within the win-at-all-cost world of international sport.

The autobiographies of top cyclists Nicole Cooke – The Breakaway, and Lizzie Armistead – Steadfast provide rich description (Denzin and Lincoln, 2011) of how those in powerful decision-making positions in British cycle propel the system of gender inequality.

In our article, we argue that the notion of post-feminism contributes to a lack of attention to sexism:

“In recent years, post-feminism has been linked to an increase in the visibility of female athletes in the sporting media. Female athletes are often (self-) represented as strong and resistant to gendered limitations. This reinforces their seemingly abundant opportunities for liberation and upward mobility in elite competitive sport.

And so post-feminism demands that successful high-profile female athletes embody the normative signifiers of heterosexual femininity and competitive advantage. Many do – and their achievements as both “pretty and powerful” are hailed by post-feminism as proof of equal opportunity in western societies …


… for critical feminists, the warning is that when individual women “can have it all” we are not actually combating systemic gender inequalities. This is because the idea and actuality obscure the subtle, lived reality of everyday sexism. The idea that women can have it all ends up reassuring people that feminism is no longer necessary. Problems are turned into stories about conflict between individuals, a tactic used to disparage feminism and to silence voices that divulge details of discrimination and abuse. All the while, the faults in the system go unaddressed.”