The ambitious young woman and the contemporary British sports film

Sarah Hill

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This article explores how the figure of the ambitious young woman is mediated within contemporary female-centred British sports films. The article begins by briefly outlining the relationship between postfeminism and neoliberalism and highlights the relevance of these discourses to contemporary female-centred sports films. It then goes on to explore how postfeminist, neoliberal values are mediated in the construction of the ambitious young woman through an analysis of the British film Chalet Girl (2011), using both textual analysis and analysis of the film’s extra-cinematic materials. The analysis emphasises the importance of national context within postfeminist and neoliberal discourses, highlighting in particular the significance of the film’s depictions of specifically British class hierarchies. The findings of the article demonstrate how, while Chalet Girl emphasises class binaries, the film ultimately upholds the neoliberal myth that (class) barriers can be overcome through determination, hard work and the right choices
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-58
Number of pages22
JournalAssuming Gender
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • postfeminism
  • neoliberalism
  • British cinema
  • young women
  • sport

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