'Talking Shit over a Brew after a Good Session with your Mates': surfing, space and masculinity

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Abstract:

In this paper we critically engage with the masculinities of a group of young men who surf shortboards by investigating their love of surfing at breaks they have made their own. The aim of our paper is to reveal the fluid qualities of surfing masculinities by examining how surfing subjectivities are bound up with the spatial, discursive and the embodied. Becoming a 'local', and a man, at surf-breaks requires this group sharing the pleasures and pain of producing themselves as surfers. We demonstrate how emotions of pride and shame within the bonds of mateship play a crucial role in maintaining the culturally valued form of masculinity. We conclude how thinking spatially is helpful in underscoring the variability found in surfing masculinities at different breaks and conditions.

Keywords: Illawarra; Surfing; emotions; ethnography; masculinities

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00049180802270549

Affiliations: University of Wollongong, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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