High school rugby, the body and the reproduction of hegemonic masculinity

Light, R. and Kirk, D. (2000) High school rugby, the body and the reproduction of hegemonic masculinity. Sport, Education and Society, 5 (2). pp. 163-176. ISSN 1357-3322

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Abstract

Wacquant (1995) argues that the irony of the body's increasing visibility in the social science literature is the absence of studies that deal with actual flesh and blood bodies. Focused on an elite, independent high school in Australia this paper examines the relationship between young men's experiences of rugby training and the embodiment of a 'traditional', hegemonic form of masculinity. Drawing on the work of Bourdieu, Foucault and Connell it examines the corporeal and discursive practices that constituted rugby training for a small group of boys in the school's 1st XV. In doing so it identifies the ways in which this acted to reproduce a hegemonic form of masculinity increasingly under threat in rapidly changing social, cultural and economic conditions.