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'Who's the Daddy?'

The 2005 Irish Arm Wrestling Championships

Siún Carden

In November 2005, I was a participant-observer among the spectators at the Irish Arm Wrestling Championships in Belfast. I will analyse that event in terms of the construction of gendered identities through sport, in a local context where the history of sectarian violence has promoted a particular tough, ‘hard man’ version of working-class masculinity which has often been played out through sporting events, themselves routinely structured along broadly sectarian lines and sometimes a focus for friction between communities in conflict.