Skydiving+Texts - Sociology of Sport Journal, 2004, 21,...

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397 Sociology of Sport Journal, 2004 , 21 , 397-417 © 2004 Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc. The “Crack Choir” and the “Cock Chorus”: The Intersection of Gender and Sexuality in Skydiving Texts Jason Laurendeau This article undertakes a qualitative exploration of women’s and men’s songs in the skydiv- ing community in order to explore the intersection of gender and sexuality in this context. Analyses reveal that men’s songs constrain the transformative potential of women in sky- diving by trivializing, marginalizing, and sexualizing them. Further, they reinforce male hegemony in skydiving through the construction of a hyperheterosexual masculinity. Mean- while, women’s songs resist male hegemony in the sport, laying claim to discursive and physical space. One central strategy in this resistance is the construction of a strong hetero- sexual femininity, thereby asserting a sexual subjectivity neither defined nor controlled by men. This resistance, however, shores up a particular version of heterosexual femininity that contributes to women’s trivialization and sexualization in this setting. Cet article constitue une exploration qualitative des chansons des hommes et des femmes faisant du parachutisme en chute libre. Il permet ainsi d’examiner l’intersection entre le genre et la sexualité dans ce régime sexué. Les analyses révèlent que les chansons des hommes contraignent le potentiel transformateur des femmes parachutistes en les banalisant, les marginalisant et les sexualisant. De plus, elles renforcent l’hégémonie masculine en parachutisme en construisant une masculinité hyper hétérosexuelle. En ce qui a trait aux chansons des femmes, elles résistent à l’hégémonie masculine en sport tout en réclamant leur espace discursif et physique. Une stratégie centrale de résistance est la construction d’une féminité hétérosexuelle forte qui affirme une subjectivité sexuelle qui n’est ni définie, ni contrôlée par les hommes. Cette résistance, toutefois, consolide une version particulière de la féminité hétérosexuelle qui contribue à la banalisation et la sexualisation des femmes dans ce milieu. Introduction The relatively recent gains in popularity of alternative sports have come at an interesting historical juncture. At a time when women are making (limited) inroads into the male-dominated world of mainstream sport, several ostensibly gender-neutral alternative sports have proliferated. Paradoxically, although many participants in these sports claim that the activities are structured in opposition to the values of mainstream sport, practices and rituals in these settings often repro- duce hierarchies privileging men and particular kinds of masculinity (e.g., Ander- son, 1999; Beal, 1996; Wheaton and Tomlinson, 1998). This article draws on eth- nographic research and explores textual constructions of gender and sexuality in The author is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4.
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Skydiving+Texts - Sociology of Sport Journal, 2004, 21,...

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