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Inclusive masculinities of university soccer players in the American Midwest

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Male teamsport athletes have traditionally been described as some of the most homophobic and femphobic men in North American culture. However, in this ethnographic research of an education-based soccer team at a small Catholic university in a rural part of Middle America, I use inclusive masculinity theory to highlight that a softer version of masculinity is in operation. I use participant observation and 22 in-depth interviews to show that these men are gay friendly, that they avoid fights, and that they use reciprocal disclosure and homosocial tactility to emotionally bond. Although the type of masculinity the men on this team exhibit retains some orthodox behaviours, it is nonetheless far removed from the traditional model of hegemonic masculinity commonly attributed to teamsport athletes found in American institutes of sport and education.
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Keywords: hegemonic; inclusive; masculinity; men; soccer; teamsports

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Education,University of Bath, Bath, UK

Publication date: 01 October 2011

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