The nexus between tertiary students’ ‘side-line’ sports chants and the perpetuation of attitudes towards gender-based violence in Zimbabwe.


  • Hugh Mangeya Midlands State University, Zimbabwe


sideline chants, GBV, naturalisation, sexuality


The study explores the nexus between tertiary students‚ side-line sports chants and the perpetuation of attitudes towards gender-based violence (GBV) in Zimbabwe. Given that GBV occurs in a plethora of forms, and levels, the study submits that attitudes, and their social cultivation, are important in both the perpetration and combating of the social problem. Attitudes are critical in shaping gender relations and power matrices obtaining therein. They benchmark taken-for-granted rules of engagements as well as thresholds beyond which interventions are made from a popular perspective. Whilst there are many spaces on which these attitudes are cultivated, the present study argues that side-line sports chants, an important cultural text in any given society, provide spaces for the negotiation of gendered attitudes in any given social milieu. Thus, they function much more than simply providing support and motivation for both players and coaching staff during tertiary students’ sporting activities. The research uses purposively sampled side-line chants for analysis. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is used in unpacking the ways in which the chants shape and (re)configure gendered power relations amongst this critical demographic group.


Blommaert, J. and Burken, C. 2000. Critical discourse analysis. Annual Review of Anthropology, 29: 447-466.

Bourdieu, P. 1984. Distinction: A social critique of the judgment of taste. London: Routledge.

Brennen, B. H. 2003. Gender issues in tertiary education. Paper presented at the Association of Tertiary Education Annual Conference, Nassau, Bahamas. November 20.

Butler, J. 2011. Gender trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity. London: Taylor and Francis.

Chauraya, E. 2011. The implementation of gender policy programmes in selected universities in Zimbabwe. (Doctoral thesis), University of South Africa.

Chauraya, E. and Manyike, T. V. 2014. Gender mainstreaming in student admissions in Zimbabwean state universities: the gap between

implementation and ideal practice. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(8): 406-414.

CheerStunts 2010. Cheerleading chants, cheers and yells.

Christ, C. P. 2016. A new definition of patriarchy: control of women’s sexuality, private property, and war. Feminist Theology, 24(3): 1-18.

Connell, R. 2009. Gender. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Cornwall, H., Harrison, E. and Whitehead, A. 2007. Feminism in Development. London: Zed Book Ltd.

Donnelly, P. and Young, K. 1988. The construction and confirmation of identity in sport subcultures. Sociology of Sport Journal, 5(3): 223–240.

Jorgensen, M. and Phillips, L. J. 2002. Discourse analysis as theory and method. London: Sage.

Kellie, D. J., Blake, K. R. and Brooks, R. C. 2019. What drives female objectification? An investigation of appearance-based interpersonal perceptions and the objectification of women. PLoS ONE, 14(8): e0221388.

Klein, G. and Gibbs, A. 2020. Tools of patriarchy: the weaponization of sexual freedom. Health History.

Knijnik, J. 2018. Imagining a multicultural community in an everyday football International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 53(4) 471–489.

Langton, R. 2009. Sexual solipsism: Philosophical essays on pornography and objectification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Luhrs, J. 2007. Football Chants and the Continuity of the Blason Populaire Tradition. (Doctoral thesis), Sheffield University. Sheffield.

Musoni, P. and Gundani, P. H. 2019. Open space worship: A religious identity of the Johane Masowe Chishanu Church in Zimbabwe. Journal for the Study of Religion, 32(2): 1-13.

Nussbaum, M. 1995. Objectification. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 24(4): 249–291. Nilan, P., Broom, A. and Demartoto, A. 2008. Masculinities and violence in India and Indonesia: identifying themes and constructs for research. Journal of Health and Development, 4(1): 209–228.

Nziramasanga Commission. 1999. Report of the presidential commission of inquiry into education and training in Zimbabwe. Government Printers: Harare.

Prabasmoro, T. and Ridwansyah R. 2020. Fan culture and masculinity: Identity construction of Persib supporters. Gender Studies, 18(1): 163 – 178.

Ridgeway, C. L. and Smith-Lovin, L. 2006. Gender and interaction. In Chafetz, J. S. (Ed.) Handbook of the Sociology of Gender (pp. 247-274). New York: Springer.

Siregar, C. 2020. Football love letters: the incredible science behind iconic stadium songs.

Szymanski, D. M., Moffitt, L. B. and Carr, E. R. 2011. Sexual objectification of women: advances to theory and research. The Counselling Psychologist, 39(1) 6–38.

van Dijk, T.A. 1993. Principles of critical discourse analysis. Discourse and Society, 4(2): 249-283.

Walby, S. 1990. Theorising patriarchy. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

West, C. and Zimmerman, D. H. 2002. Doing gender. In Jackson, S. and Scott, S. (Eds.) Gender: A Sociological Reader (pp. 42 – 48). London: Routledge.

Wodak, R. 1995. Critical linguistics and critical discourse analysis. In Verschueren, J., Ostaman, J. and Bloomaert, T. (Eds.), Handbook of Pragmatics (pp 204-210). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Wodak, R. 2001. What CDA is about – A summary of its history, important concepts, and its development. In Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. (Eds.), Methods of critical discourse analysis (pp 1-14). London: Sage.

Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. (Eds). 2009. Critical discourse analysis: History, agenda, theory and methodology. London: Sage






Research Articles