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Masculinities and Sexualities of Elite Male Team Sport Athletes: An Ethnographic Examination

OGILVIE, MARK,EDWARD (2019) Masculinities and Sexualities of Elite Male Team Sport Athletes: An Ethnographic Examination. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Previous research on masculinities in team sports, in Western cultures, has shown that stratifications of men were based on athletic capital, homophobic and misogynistic language, and the maintenance of characteristics associated with orthodox notions of masculinity; the more of these qualities that a man possessed, the closer the man placed to the top of the masculine hierarchy (Connell, 1995). However, research shows that homophobia has been on a rapid decline since 1993, leading to a rise in inclusive attitudes towards homosexuality (Anderson, 2014). In this doctoral research, I conducted a year-long ethnography with five elite-level male sports teams (Volleyball, Water Polo, Lacrosse, Basketball, and American Football), to examine how masculinities, and attitudes towards non-heterosexual athletes, are changing at the highest level of sport.
This research shows that elite male athletes demonstrate a decline in homophobia, a shift towards inclusive masculinities and positive attitudes towards non-heterosexual athletes. With jock masculinities softening and attitudes towards homosexuality becoming more positive, these men are more willing to engage in pro-gay language, rather than homophobic language, and to discuss sexual fluidity within themselves. This group of elite male athletes also had unique ways of bonding with each other, leading to my development of The Tripartite Model of Homoeroticism, which describes male athletes' increase in positive body talk, physical tactility and Bromances. Furthermore, inclusive attitudes have also reshaped the ways that elite male athletes interact with elite female athletes, fostering high levels of respect for each other, and a push for Gender Collaborative Training for male and female athletes of the same sport.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Masculinities, Team Sports, Homophobia, Bromances, Homoerotic
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 Apr 2020 09:43

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