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Durham e-Theses
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‘It’s just a bit of Banter...’: Exploring the Significance of Homophobia,‘Banter’ and Homosexually-Themed Language in the Working Lives of Professional Footballers

NAGLE, JOSEPH (2016) ‘It’s just a bit of Banter...’: Exploring the Significance of Homophobia,‘Banter’ and Homosexually-Themed Language in the Working Lives of Professional Footballers. Masters thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 19 July 2019.

Abstract

In the context of the notable absence of an openly gay player in UK professional football (Cashmore and Cleland, 2014), this investigation draws upon data gathered from 30 semi-structured, in-depth, face-to-face qualitative interviews in order to examine professional player’s views, attitudes and experiences relating to homosexuality, homophobia and homosexually–themed language (HTL). Findings highlight a clear dissonance between positive attitudes towards homosexuality expressed by two thirds of the sample, and their reflections on the continued and complex use of HTL and homophobic pejoratives in the dressing room (McCormack, 2011; McCormack et al., in press). The social significance of dressing room ‘banter’ (Roderick, 2006) is demonstrated in this research and is shown to hold inclusive interpretations as part of acceptance in the group, alongside continued use as a form of social regulation (Parker, 2006). McCormack et al’s (in press) discussion of the importance ‘friendships’ and ‘shared norms’ when interpreting language is used as an explanatory tool in the interpretation of ‘banter’ and HTL as inclusive or regulatory. Thus, the use of ‘banter’ as a strategy to undermine is supported in the study and is perceived as a means of testing mental toughness, getting a reaction or ‘bite’ from players, and asserting dominance and status in the dressing room. This study offers an empirically grounded hypothesis, that in the context of prevalent assumptions of disapproval towards homosexuality among players, and sexualized forms of IHR and physical tactility in the dressing room (Magrath et al., 2013), it appears likely that the habitual use of homophobic pejoratives is being interpreted by closeted gay players as evidence of homophobic attitudes in the dressing room. This may influence their decisions to remain ‘closeted’ during their playing careers.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Jun 2016 10:57

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