Embodied Masculinities in Global Sport

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This book acknowledges the central role of bodies in the social construction of gender and, in this case, ideas about masculinity. Editors Jorge Knijnik and Daryl Adair, along with a group of international researchers, articulate how various types of masculinities can be played out in different sports by drawing from personal experiences of athletes, investigating the cultural--and even global--impact of male achievements in sport, and comparing men's experiences in sport to women's.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Eric Anderson


Chapter 1 Conceptualizing Embodied Masculinities in Global Sport

            Jorge Knijnik and Daryl Adair

Chapter 2 “Cock Up”: Emasculating American Athletes Through Sick Humor

            Rob Baum

Chapter 3 On Being a Warrior: Race, Gender, and American Indian Imagery in Sport

            C. Richard King

Chapter 4 “Other” Masculinities: Equestrianism in Uruguay

            Luiz Rojo

Chapter 5 Football, Cinema and New Sensibilities in the Masculine Territory: An Analysis of Asa Branca, a Brazilian Dream (1981) and New Wave (1983)

            Jorge Knijink and Victor Andrade de Melo

Chapter 6 I am Dancing on the Courts: Masculinities in Brazilian Sports

            Jorge Knijnik

Chapter 7 Dance, Masculinity, and Physical Education: An International Perspective

            Michael Gard

Chapter 8 Sport, Masculinities, and Pain: An Australian Rules Football Perspective

            Deborah Agnew and Murray Drummond

Chapter 9 Steroids, Male Body Image, and the Intimate Self

            Daryl Adair

Chapter 10 Manliness and Mountaineering: Sir Edmund Hillary as New Zealand Adventurer and Male Icon

Toni Bruce and Richard Pringle

Chapter 11 Manner(s) Maketh the Man”: Embodied Masculinities in a Japanese University Rowing Club

Brent McDonald


About the Editors

About the Authors


The Hegemonic Masculinity Inevitability Worldwide

By Anna Maria Jenner Heim Hellborg
Department of Sport Sciences, Malmö University

Usually when it is written about masculinity and sports as it is written about American football and European football from the US and Britain, writes Eric Anderson in the preface to the Embodied Masculinities in Global Sports . Therefore, the aim of this anthology to broaden the perspective of masculinity research both in sports and geographical spread. Anthology basis, as described in the introductory chapter, the virility that can be expressed in different ways. What it means to "be a man" may differ depending on the context we are in. The premise that permeates the anthology, the editors say, is that masculinity is a social construction that is part of a complex gender system. The anthology is limited to be about men and men's expressions of masculinity.

The anthology consists of ten original articles dealing with men and masculinity in several different sports (e.g., equestrian, handball and rowing) and from different parts of the world (such as Uruguay, New Zealand and Japan).The only thing missing is an African perspective. No article theme is like the other, providing an exciting breadth of topics (such as mascots, movie and national heroes) linked to masculinity. All articles relate to hegemonic masculinity as described by RW Connell. Briefly hegemonic masculinity the expression of masculine dominating the other men and women. Although some items of interest to other, alternative masculinities (expression of masculinity that does not dominate the others) is the hegemonic masculinity dominant characteristics, properties such as strength, courage, determination, confidence. Only the article on dance by Michael Gard describes an almost total break with the hegemonic masculinity (at least if you look at the discourse of dance completely different from the hegemonic masculinity). Although descriptions of men who embody certain alternative properties, humility, altruism and dependent on others as they described the men were not completely but only partially alternative. If one looks at the book includes articles that appear hegemonic masculinity properties inevitable.

An example of this is Knijniks Jorge and Victor Andrade de Melo study that takes movies with football theme situ conditioned in Brazil during the 1980s. The first film, Asa Branca , tells of a young boy's dream of becoming a football star and how he was on his crooked way to the top finds himself with the help of another man. They have a close, implied homosexual relationship while he embodies a hegemonic masculinity and heterosexuality outward. The film was made ​​during a time when the Brazilian society were opened to new ideas, including the male role negotiable. But even if the film shows an alternative lifestyle that was the only private and not open for others to see, hegemonic masculinity was still that which prevailed in the Brazilian society.

Another example of a description of masculinity that does not fully comply with the hegemonic masculinity is chapter ten of Toni Bruce and Richard Pringle. The article is about the New Zealand adventurer Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to climb Mount Everest. His feat proved that he was brave, strong and durable, traits that correspond well with the hegemonic masculinity. What was the alternative to Hillary was his humanitarian work for those who had it worse than himself. The study shows that his humanitarian work was a big reason for his immense popularity and hero status in New Zealand. He was undoubtedly the masculine but also as caring and vulnerable. The question is whether these alternative properties is considered acceptable and even celebrated because he had other, more masculine traits? The researchers discuss unfortunately not so.

These chapters, I think shows that the alternative masculinity to be acceptable needs to contain a certain amount of hegemonic masculinity. While Chapter Eleven of the Japanese Rowing Club shows how the young men oscillates between being hard and be soft and be there at the right time. Otherwise, they risk losing their high social position among the rowers and ultimately in society. The alternative is, but it may not be all the time, hegemonic must be too, and it must be clear.

Another article that should be mentioned addresses a topic that I find quite unusual and it's chapter two of the joke (sick humor) is used to reduce and feminize known athletes. Rob Baum's main example is OJ Simpson, who when he was accused of murder went from a "colorless" (sports) star to a violent black man. The jokes about him often referred to his skin color, and indicated that he was dangerous. Baum says that the connection to violence Simpson reduced to black. Baum also brings up another example of Tiger Woods, who påkoms with being unfaithful and drugged. The joke was diligent about this, but unlike Simpson traded this is not about skin color, but it was sexualized jokes related to sport (golf). Baum says that Simpson and Woods, through ridicule and make jokes about, feminized. But in relation to hegemonic masculinity can be added that violence and infidelity could very well accepted within the hegemonic masculinity, however, it is not an accepted form of masculinity in society why they probably mocked by these jokes. But hegemonic masculinity comes to dominate, which could be considered in the case of Simpson and Woods. This had been an interesting discussion to immerse themselves in but instead Baum chosen to only talk about the feminized by objectified.

As previously mentioned, the anthology seemingly very different subjects, which is positive as it gives the reader a broad picture of the different ways of discovering masculinity, through different contexts but also different methods and materials. However, it is a little different how authors present their methods, shifting quality. Some have clearly described the method of use and teorival while in other articles are not written out, but instead, the reader guessing method of its context, which does not give a scientific impression. In addition, not all items that used the concept of masculinity and embodiment of masculinity, as I understand the purpose. In the article about the equestrian sport in Uruguay is it about men and women's different behavior instead of different masculinities and the article on doping focus the problem on a different issue (need for medical care for the management of side effects) than masculinity, which is not discussed at all, but merely insinuated.

Finally, one can wonder why there is a male figure skater in the front? None of the articles affects male figure skating.