Brotherhood - How does the Boyhood and Organized Sports...

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How does the “Boyhood and Organized Sports” article support the arguments made in the “Masculinity as Homophobia” article? Boyhood and Organized Sports: I argue that organized sports are initially experienced as a context in which boys seek non- intimate connections with others. Yet the competitive, hierarchical structure of athletic careers encourages young males to develop a sense of “conditional self-worth,” and ultimately exacerbates their already existing internalized ambivalence toward intimacy with others. I conclude that similarities and differences in the construction of masculinities through athletic careers demonstrate an “elective affinity” between personality and social structure, between their masculine identities under construction and sport as a gendered institution. As a result, organized sport have served to bolster a sagging ideology of male superiority, and has helped to reconstitute masculine hegemony. Role theory had inadvertently simplied the complexities of gender. They argued that early developmental differences, grounded in the social structure of mothering, created deeply rooted (unconscious) differences between women and men. As a result of these internalized gender identity differences, males were posited to develop more “positional” identities (with fear of intimacy), whereas females develop more “relational” identities (with fears of separation). Feminist psychoanalytic perspectives on gender have had a tendency to reify categorical differences between the sexes, and then explain these differences through reductionist ( and often unfounded) references to a causal “core gender identity.” The relationship between structure and personality is best viewed as an “elective affinity”. Instead of viewing the personality as an onion, with gender identity as the fixed (the causal) “core,” it is more accurate to view the personality as a “tapestry”, constantly under construction, with gender identity conceptualized as a “thread” the separation-unity dynamic, that runs through the entire tapestry.
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