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Having the balls, having it all?: Sport and constructions of undergraduate laddishness

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2009
JournalGender and Education
Journal number5
Volume21
Pages481-500
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article investigates the role of sport in framing and communicating hegemonic masculinity among male undergraduates within one British university. The data were collected through questionnaires and one‐to‐one interviews with 24 male students who were asked to consider their relationship with laddish masculinities. The evidence indicates that sport was important in framing hegemonic masculinities within this milieu. While participants recognised the importance of sport in constructing masculinity, they were also critical of sportsmen’s ‘laddish’ practices and attempted to distance themselves from these behaviours. Nevertheless, they remained complicit to the more general attributes of hegemonic masculinity – particularly notions of strength and independence. The article discusses the implications of this finding for how researchers might conceptualise hegemonic masculinity, and offers a suggestion on how they might harness these attributes to challenge the more negative practices associated with manhood.

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