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Spring '12 material - Men and Masculinities Media Messner...

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Men and Masculinities
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Media/ Messner Http://youtu.be/luadmO7Cugc
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Representations The readings in this section enable us to shift the discussion from the construction of gender in science to the construction of gender through socialization, organized sports and cultural definitions of masculinity and femininity The concept of representation is central to these readings. Gender representations are our images of masculinity and femininity in particular contexts.
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Women’s sports Representations about athletic women http://youtu.be/HU9qc1JIC4k Challenges to ideas about athletes http://youtu.be/MxfThUYOW74
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Sport as a Means of Socialization and Transition to Adulthood Messner (119-135) Messner claims that sport are a means to socialize men and build masculine identities . What do you think about this? He also claims that sport could be viewed as a rite of passge in the US. Historically, in communities in Africa, Asia and native American societies there used to be (and still are) some rites of passage used by an entire communities to mark the passage from childhood to adulthood Hence he sees that the development of masculinity is problematic in such a society which does not offer an official
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Sport as a Gendered Institution (Messner) Messner sees the emergence of organized sports as a reaction to patterns of change in the American society, more particularly as a masculine reaction to fear among middle class white male , of the “social feminization” or “feminization of the American culture” These two terms were used as a reaction to the gains made by the feminist movement in the 1970s in the US.
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Organized sport and hegemonic masculinities Organized sports were in fact a way for white heterosexual males to preserve gender divisions and the privileges of masculine power and hegemony
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Hegemonic Masculinities M asculinity remains at the center of representations about gender and a defining feature of sport in the U.S Men are socialized into a culture of violence and sport is structured around the culture of masculine power , performance and competitiveness how do we see hegemonic masculinity taking effect in Sport?
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How about Girls? One might protest that girls are now competing with men in sports and can be “as good” as men ?
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Lets’ look at some of these values as stressed in the text: Messner’s article shows how “boyhood” is constructed through participation in sports such as baseball, and how the identity of “malehood” is naturalized “If they don’t they are not real boys.” (Messner 122)
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Masculinities Construction through Organized Sport Think of what we said earlier about naturalizing differences, learnt behaviors etc. Seeing then as natural while they are in fact shaped and constructed within certain institutions , including the family (importance of emulation and interaction with male relatives, especially fathers for male athletes)
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