Pringle+_+Markula%2C+2005%2C+Foucault+Rugby - Sociology of...

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472 Pringle is with the University of Waikato, Department of Sport and Leisure Studies, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand; Markula is with the University of Bath, Department of Education, Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom. Sociology of Sport Journal , 2005, 22 , 472-497 © 2005 Human Kinetics, Inc. No Pain Is Sane After All: A Foucauldian Analysis of Masculinities and Men’s Experiences in Rugby Richard Pringle University of Waikato Pirkko Markula University of Bath In this article we present research that used Foucauldian theorizing to examine the articulations between masculinities and men ʼ s rugby union experiences of pain, fear, and pleasure. Data was collected via semistructured interviews with 14 New Zealand men of diverse rugby backgrounds. Results suggested that although rugby provided an in f uential discursive space for the negotiation of masculinities, these negotiations did not result in the simple (re)production of dominating discourses of masculinity. This F nding supports the judgment that sport does not consistently or unambiguously produce culturally dominant conceptions of masculinities. The interview accounts revealed, nevertheless, that the games of truth surrounding rugby and masculinities were not played in an equitable manner. This F nding helps justify concern about the social signi F cance of popular heavy-contact sports and gendering processes. A strategy of resistance based on the resurrection of marginalized knowledges is discussed. Rugby union in New Zealand, infused with masculinist and nationalist dis- courses, provides an exemplary site for examining the complex ways in which men negotiate understandings of masculinities and self. Although rugby is widely recognized as a rough sport played predominantly by males, it is characteristically regarded as New Zealand ʼ s national sport and even as a way of life or secular religion (Laidlaw, 1999; Pringle, 2001; Richards, 1999). Rugby ʼ s privileged sociocultural position results in it dominating the sportsmedia (McGregor, 1994), gaining high pro F les in schools, producing high injury costs, and shaping understandings and relations of gender (Pringle, 2002; Star, 1999b; Thompson, 1988). Regardless of whether New Zealanders celebrate, resist, or are ambiguous about rugby ʼ s in f u- ential position, the sport is an omnipresent reality in their lives. Despite rugby ʼ s social signi F cance and concerns regarding its positioning as a key signi F er of 04Pringle(472) 472 11/26/05, 8:29:11 AM
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Men’s Rugby Experiences 473 masculinity, there has been little empirical examination in New Zealand of how rugby in f uences men ʼ s understandings of what it means to be manly. There is also a paucity of international research concerned with how males who are not elite-level athletes—the overwhelming majority of males—encounter and make sense of heavy-contact sports with respect to understanding masculinities. In this article, as an attempt to address these research omissions, we examine the multiple
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This note was uploaded on 10/02/2011 for the course ARTS AND S 90:101:59 taught by Professor Markschuster during the Fall '10 term at Rutgers.

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Pringle+_+Markula%2C+2005%2C+Foucault+Rugby - Sociology of...

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