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A/Prof. Kim Toffoletti



Associate Professor of Sociology


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Hum & Social Science


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctorate by Research, Monash University, 2003
Bachelor of Arts, Monash University, 1997


Dr Kim Toffoletti is a leading figure in the study of women, sport and physical activity.

Kim is internationally recognised for her interdisciplinary research on women, sport and media. Her research has advanced novel theoretical and conceptual frameworks for addressing new challenges arising from the increased attention on women's sport and leisure activities. She has pioneered the development of critical postfeminist, transnational feminist and social media analysis in the fields of sport sociology and feminist media theory.

Kim's research has been published in top-ranking academic journals, including The International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Feminism & Psychology, Gender Work & Organization.

Her latest book is Women Sport Fans: Identification, Representation, Participation (2017, Routledge). She is also the author of Baudrillard Reframed (2011, I.B.Tauris) and Cyborgs and Barbie Dolls (2007, I.B.Tauris), and co-editor of New Sporting Femininities: Embodied Politics in Postfeminist Times (2018, Palgrave, with H.Thorpe & J.Francombe-Webb) and Sport and Its Female Fans (2012, Routledge, with P.Mewett).

She is the Associate Editor of the Sociology of Sport Journal, and sits on the editorial board of Communication & Sport journal.

Read more on Kim's profile

Research interests

  • Representations of gender in media, sport, and popular culture
  • Women sport fans, especially female supporters of Australian Rules football
  • Women's use of social media for activites related to sport, physical activity and fitness
  • The intersections of female athleticism, consumerism and brand culture


Professional associations

  • Australian Women and Gender Studies Association (AWGSA)
  • The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
  • North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS)

Committee memberships at Deakin

  • 2015 Faculty Student Misconduct Committee
  • 2010 Faculty of Arts Equity and Diversity Advisory Group
  • 2006 Access, Equity and Equal Opportunity Subcommittee
  • 2005 Faculty of Arts Teaching and Learning Committee.

Teaching interests

Bachelor of Arts.

Units taught

Trimester 1

  • ASC207 Consumerism, Gender and Sustainability


Trimester 2

  • ASC102 Introduction to Sociology B
  • AST205 Sport, Bodies, Action!

Knowledge areas

Kim's interdisciplinary expertise spans the fields of:

  • gender studies
  • sociology
  • feminist theory
  • visual and media culture.

Kim's work has broken new ground in understanding women's participation in sport and physical activity in two key ways: 1) by taking account of the interrelated aspects of postfeminism, neoliberalism, globalisation and technology in women's experiences of sport and leisure; 2) by interrogating the production of feminist knowledge about sport at the nexus of global North/South relations.

Professional activities

  • Associate Editor of the Sociology of Sport Journal
  • Editorial board member for the journal Communication & Sport
  • Book series co-editor (with J.Francombe-Webb & H.Thorpe) of New Sporting Femininities: Embodied Politics in Postfeminist Times (Palgrave MacMillan)
  • Co-editor of two journal special issues: Sociology of Sport Journal, "Sport, Feminism and the Global South" (with C.Palmer & S.F.Samie); Journal of Australian Studies, "Women In Sport" (with C.Palmer).
  • Executive member, Deakin WISE (Women In Sport & Exercise)
  • Kim's reserach has been used to deliver societal benefits by addressing the problem of women's underrepresentation and marginalisation in sport environments. It has influenced strategic stakeholders in sport on a global level, including the US National Football League, and nationally through work with the AFL Sydney Swans' women's advisory committee.

Media appearances

Kim is frequently invited to offer expert commentary and opinion on topics concerning gender, athleticism and sport participation. Her insights are aimed at furthering community engagment and dialogue on issues arising from women's growing participation in sport and physical activity, through a diversity of media platforms.

She has featured on ABC national and local radio, 3CR community radio, The 7.30 Report, Fairfax and NewsCorp print articles and op-eds, online news sources like The Conversation, Crikey and Sheilas, sport podcasts including The Outer Sanctum, The Ticket, The Sportmedia Podcast and Pushing the Edge.

Research groups

I am a member of

  • the Deakin Women In Sport and Exercise (WISE) hub
  • Deakin University's Gender & Sexualities Studies network
  • The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) thematic groups - Sport, Media, Genders & Sexualities.



  • Collaborative investigations into female athlete social media use with Associate Professor Holly Thorpe (U.Waikato, NZ), and women's use of social media for sport and physcial activity with A/Prof H.Thorpe, Dr R.Olive (UQ) and Dr A.Pavlidis (Griffith).
  • Ongoing conceptual, theoretical and methodolgical advancements in the study of women's sport participation as fans worldwide. This project builds on prior qualitative research conducted by Kim Toffoletti and Peter Mewett, which explored women fans of the Australian Football League.

HDR supervision

Kim supervises a number of PhD projects, all of which are centrally concerned with gender identity, relations and politics. She brings to these projects expertise in the study of media (in particular, digital and social media), a deep knowledge of feminist theory, and methodological skills in qualitative research and textual analysis.

Kim welcomes supervision inquires from doctoral students working in the knowledge areas of gender, feminism, popular culture, digital media, sport and leisure.


Filter by


When Sport Fandom Meets Motherhood: A Qualitative Exploration of Women's Experiences

Kim Toffoletti, Katherine Sveinson

(2024), pp. 1-11, Sociology of Sport Journal, Champaign, IL., C1

journal article

Addressing Online Harm in Australian Women's Sport

Kim Toffoletti, Caitlin McGrane, Sarah Reddan

(2024), Geelong, Vic., A6

research report/technical paper

Rethinking Women's "Performance and Image-Enhancing Drug Consumption": An Agenda for Ontopolitically-Oriented Research

Renae Fomiatti, Kim Toffoletti, Kiran Pienaar

(2023), Vol. 50, pp. 217-231, Contemporary Drug Problems, London, Eng., C1

journal article

A feminist embodied ethics of social media use: Corporeal vulnerability and relational care practices

Kim Toffoletti, Holly Thorpe, Rebecca Olive, Adele Pavlidis, Claire Moran

(2023), pp. 1-19, New Media and Society, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Critical encounters with social media in women's sport and physical culture

K Toffoletti, N Ahmad, H Thorpe

(2022), Vol. 15, pp. 29-47, Sport, social media, and digital technology : sociological approaches, Bingley, Eng., B1

book chapter

Women sports fans

Katharine Jones, Stacey Pope, Kim Toffoletti

(2022), pp. 145-153, Routledge Handbook of Sport Fans and Fandom, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

Fitness Influencers and their Digital Communities : Kayla Itsines and the (Re)Making of Fit Femininity

Madison Magladry, Kim Toffoletti, Holly Thorpe

(2022), pp. 93-109, Digital wellness, health and fitness influencers : critical perspectives on digital guru media, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

"Pretty Disgusted Honestly": Exploring Fans' Affective Responses on Facebook to the Modified Rules of Australian Football League Women's

A Pavlidis, K Toffoletti, K Sanders

(2022), Vol. 46, pp. 103-123, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, C1

journal article

"I Just Don't Wanna Deal With the Headache of People Fighting Over the Internet": A Study of Sponsored Female Climbers' Digital Labor

K Rahikainen, K Toffoletti

(2022), Vol. 39, pp. 251-260, Sociology of Sport Journal, C1

journal article

Addressing Gender Inequity in Sport Through Women's Invisible Labor

Katherine Sveinson, Elizabeth Taylor, Ajhanai Keaton, Laura Burton, Ann Pegoraro, Kim Toffoletti

(2022), Vol. 36, pp. 240-250, Journal of Sport Management, Champaign, Ill., C1

journal article

The persistent publication glass ceiling: an analysis of gender authorship trends in ANZ Journal of Surgery

M Sakowska, K Toffoletti

(2022), pp. 1-5, ANZ Journal of Surgery, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Understanding Australian adolescent girls' use of digital technologies for healthy lifestyle purposes: a mixed-methods study

K Parker, L Gould, M Nand, J Rawstorn, A Contardo Ayala, R Maddison, K Toffoletti

(2022), Vol. 22, pp. 1-12, BMC public health, London, Eng., C1

journal article

What makes sport spectating family friendly? A phenomenological study of mothers' sport fan game day experiences

Katherine Sveinson, Kim Toffoletti

(2022), pp. 1-14, Journal of Sport Management, Champaign, Ill., C1

journal article

Self-Representations of Women's Sport Fandom on Instagram at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup

K Toffoletti, A Pegoraro, G Comeau

(2021), Vol. 9, pp. 695-717, Communication and Sport, C1

journal article

Bodies, gender, and digital affect in fitspiration media

K Toffoletti, H Thorpe

(2021), Vol. 21, pp. 822-839, Feminist Media Studies, C1

journal article

Doing feminist physical cultural research in digital spaces: reflections, learnings and ways forward

K Toffoletti, R Olive, H Thorpe, A Pavlidis

(2021), Vol. 13, pp. 11-25, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, C1

journal article

The use of digital platforms for adults' and adolescents' physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic (our life at home): Survey study

K Parker, R Uddin, N Ridgers, H Brown, J Veitch, J Salmon, A Timperio, S Sahlqvist, S Cassar, K Toffoletti, R Maddison, L Arundell

(2021), Vol. 23, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Canada, C1

journal article

Visibility and Vulnerability on Instagram: Negotiating Safety in Women's Online-Offline Fitness Spaces

K Toffoletti, H Thorpe, A Pavlidis, R Olive, C Moran

(2021), Leisure Sciences, C1

journal article

'If people are wearing pink stuff they're probably not real fans': exploring women's perceptions of sport fan clothing

K Sveinson, L Hoeber, K Toffoletti

(2019), Vol. 22, pp. 736-747, Sport management review, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Sport, alcohol and women: an emerging research agenda

C Palmer, K Toffoletti

(2019), Vol. 43, pp. 103-117, Journal of Australian studies, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Sporting females: power, diversity and the body

J Francombe-Webb, K Toffoletti

(2018), pp. 43-56, The Palgrave handbook of feminism and sport, leisure and physical education, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

Mothers, scholars and feminists: inside and outside the Australian academic system

K Toffoletti, P Bueskens

(2018), pp. 13-22, Lived experiences of women in academia : metaphors, manifestos and memoir, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

Postfeminist paradoxes and cultural difference: unpacking media representations of American Muslim sportswomen Ibtihaj and Dalilah Muhammad

Sumaya Samie, K Toffoletti

(2018), pp. 87-110, New sporting femininities : embodied politics in postfeminist times, Cham, Switzerland, B1

book chapter

Sport, postfeminism and women with disabilities: female paralympians on social media

K Toffoletti

(2018), pp. 253-276, New sporting femininities : embodied politics in postfeminist times, Cham, Switzerland, B1

book chapter

Femininities, sport and physical culture in postfeminist, neoliberal times

K Toffoletti, Jessica Francombe-Webb, Holly Thorpe

(2018), pp. 1-19, New sporting femininities : embodied politics in postfeminist times, Cham, Switzerland, B1

book chapter

Female athletes' self-representation on social media: A feminist analysis of neoliberal marketing strategies in "economies of visibility"

Kim Toffoletti, Holly Thorpe

(2018), Vol. 28, pp. 11-31, FEMINISM & PSYCHOLOGY, London, Eng., C1

journal article

The athletic labour of femininity: the branding and consumption of global celebrity sportswomen on Instagram

K Toffoletti, H Thorpe

(2018), Vol. 18, pp. 298-316, Journal of consumer culture, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Women sport fans: identification, participation, representation

K Toffoletti

(2017), New York, N.Y., A1


Invisible (women's) bodies

K Toffoletti, C Palmer

(2017), pp. 337-347, Routledge handbook of physical cultural studies, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

Invisible (women's) bodies

K Toffoletti, C Palmer

(2017), pp. 286-294, Routledge handbook of physical cultural studies, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

New approaches for studies of Muslim women and sport

K Toffoletti, C Palmer

(2017), Vol. 52, pp. 146-163, International review for the sociology of sport, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Advertising the 2015 Cricket World Cup: representing multicultural female sports fans

K Toffoletti

(2017), Vol. 5, pp. 226-244, Communication & sport, Thousand Oaks, Calif., C1

journal article

Sexy women sports fans: femininity, sexuality, and the global sport spectacle

K Toffoletti

(2017), Vol. 17, pp. 457-472, Feminist media studies, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Feminism, celebrity and lifestyle in the Australian digital news site Mamamia

H Garden, K Toffoletti

(2017), Vol. 36, pp. 1-20, Outskirts: feminisms along the edge, Crawley, W.A., C1

journal article

Sportswomen and Social Media: Bringing Third-Wave Feminism, Postfeminism, and Neoliberal Feminism Into Conversation

H Thorpe, K Toffoletti, T Bruce

(2017), Vol. 41, pp. 359-383, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Thousand Oaks, Calif., C1

journal article

Women Academics and Work-Life Balance: Gendered Discourses of Work and Care

K Toffoletti, K Starr

(2016), Vol. 23, pp. 489-504, Gender, Work and Organization, C1

journal article

Analyzing media representations of sportswomen- expanding the conceptual boundaries using a postfeminist sensibility

K Toffoletti

(2016), Vol. 33, pp. 199-207, Sociology of sport journal, Champaign, Ill., C1

journal article

Baudrillard, postfeminism, and the image makeover

K Toffoletti

(2014), Vol. 10, pp. 105-119, Cultural politics, Durham, NC, C1

journal article

Iranian women's sports fandom : gender, resistance, and identity in the football movie offside

K Toffoletti

(2014), Vol. 38, pp. 75-92, Journal of sport and social issues, Thousand Oaks, Ca., C1

journal article

Muslim women and sport: participation, consumption, representation

K Toffoletti, C Palmer, P Mewett

(2014), pp. 1-14, TASA 2014: Challenging Identities, Institutions and Communities : Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association 2014 Conference, Adelaide, South Australia, E1-1


Oh yes, he is hot : female football fans and the sexual objectification of sportsmen's bodies

K Toffoletti, P Mewett

(2012), pp. 99-114, Sport and its female fans, New York, N.Y., B1

book chapter

The place of scandal : Lara Bingle and Brendan Fevola

K Lonie, K Toffoletti

(2012), Vol. 26, pp. 1-12, Outskirts : feminisms along the edge, Crawley, W.A., C1

journal article

Baudrillard reframed : interpreting key thinkers for the arts

K Toffoletti

(2011), London, England, A1


On footballers behaving badly

K Toffoletti

(2011), pp. 203-211, 110 per cent : great Australian sporting speeches, Camberwell, Vic, B1

book chapter

Doing what your big sister does : sex, postfeminism and the YA chick lit series

E Bullen, K Toffoletti, L Parsons

(2011), Vol. 23, pp. 497-511, Gender and education, Oxon, England, C1

journal article

Finding footy : female fan socialization and Australian rules football

P Mewett, K Toffoletti

(2011), Vol. 14, pp. 670-684, Sport in society, Abingdon, England, C1

journal article

Voices from the margins? Women at the footy

P Mewett, K Toffoletti

(2010), Vol. 3, pp. 1-1, Intergraph : journal of dialogic anthropology, Hull, England, C1

journal article

Terminal indifference : the Hollywood war film post-September 11

K Toffoletti, V Grace

(2010), Vol. 14, pp. 62-83, Film-Philosophy, London, England, C1

journal article

Enhancing Deakin University's status as an employer of choice for women : an examination of organisational support and barriers to women academics

K Starr, K Toffoletti

(2010), Geelong, Vic., A6

research report/technical paper

Gender relations in football : female football fans discuss player misconduct

K Toffoletti, P Mewett

(2009), Vol. 34, pp. 126-127, Alternative law journal, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article

Rogue men and predatory women : female fan's perception of Australian footballers' sexual conduct

P Mewett, K Toffoletti

(2008), Vol. 43, pp. 165-180, International review for the sociology of sport, Munich, Germany, C1

journal article

Gossip girls in a transmedia world : the sexual and technological anxieties of integral reality

K Toffoletti

(2008), Vol. 18, pp. 71-77, Papers : explorations into children's literature, Victoria Park, W.A., C1

journal article

The strength of strong ties : how women become supporters of Australian Rules Football

P Mewett, K Toffoletti

(2008), TASA 2008 : Re-imagining sociology : the Annual Conference of The Australian Sociological Association, Melbourne, Vic., E1


Cyborgs and Barbie dolls : feminism, popular culture and the posthuman body

K Toffoletti

(2007), London, England, A1


Transforming superheroics through female music style

K Toffoletti

(2007), pp. 307-320, Super/Heroes: from Hercules to Superman, Washington, DC., B1

book chapter

How is gender-based violence covered in the sporting news? An account of the Australian Football League sex scandal

K Toffoletti

(2007), Vol. 30, pp. 427-438, Women's studies international forum, Oxford, England, C1

journal article

All part of the hetero-normative? Women football fans` voices on players` sexual (mis)conduct

P Mewett, K Toffoletti

(2006), pp. 1-9, Sociology for a mobile world. TASA 2006 Conference Proceedings., University of Western Australia, E1


Who speaks on footballers and sexual assault? A gender analysis of sports reporting

K Toffoletti

(2005), pp. 1-11, Annual conference of The Australian Sociological Association : community, place, change, University of Tasmania, E1


Catastrophic subjects: feminism, the posthuman, and difference

K Toffoletti

(2004), Vol. 3, pp. 1-13, thirdspace : the journal for emerging feminist scholars, Victoria, British Columbia, C1-1

journal article

Screening Michael Jackson's face : reading Martin Bashir's living with Michael Jackson

K Toffoletti

(2004), Vol. 37, pp. 49-61, Southern review : Communication, politics & culture, Melbourne, Vic., C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Effective anti-racism approaches for women and girls in community sport

A/Prof Kim Toffoletti

Office for Women in Sport and Recreation Change Our Game Research Grants

  • 2023: $22,500

Industry and Other Funding

Gendered online harassment of professional and elite women's sports athletes.

A/Prof Kim Toffoletti

Gender Equity Victoria (GEN Vic)

  • 2023: $40,957
  • 2022: $2,213


Principal Supervisor

Timothy Boots

Thesis entitled: New to the game: AFLW, Twitter and the circulation of new fan publics

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Communication and Creative Arts

Neena Balwan Sachdev

Thesis entitled: Trauma, Desire and Hope in Contemporary Novels of Sexual Abuse

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Communication and Creative Arts


Denise Ann Mcnulty Norton

Thesis entitled: The pure father: reconciling individual autonomy and childhood dependence in Hollywood family films

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Janet Watson

Thesis entitled: Re-Visioning Bisexuality: Rhizomatic Cartographies of Sex, Gender and Sexuality

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate Supervisor

Elsher Lawson-Boyd

Thesis entitled: Under the Skull: A Study of Embodied Trauma in Neuroepigenetics

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Allison Maplesden

Thesis entitled: Toxic Celebrity

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Communication and Creative Arts


Brenda Fitzpatrick

Thesis entitled: Rejecting Sexual Violence in Conflict:Significant Progress; Ongoing Challenges

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences