Boys, Inclusive Masculinities and Injury

Some Research Perspectives

in Boyhood Studies
Restricted access

ABSTRACT

The social function of sport has traditionally been to develop an economically efficient workforce and to prevent young men from becoming effeminate, and by extension homosexual. However, since the 1980s both the social positioning of homosexuality has changed, as has the economic requirements of the Anglo-American workforce. As such, the social function of contemporary sport is negated. With modern athletes now opting for softer masculine presentations, we start the debate on the intersection of sport, health, and inclusive masculinities, an area lacking scholarly attention so far. Through exploring masculinity-challenging discourses, participation rates and athletes’ self-withdrawal from sport when injured, we begin to theorize how modern athletes may view potentially risky and injurious sporting activities, suggesting that boys today are less inclined to engage in injurious activities, and, when they do, opting for softer and safer strategies.

Contributor Notes

Adam White is a doctoral research student at the University of Winchester currently studying the sociocultural and political influences for participating in rugby, as well as leading multiple projects on masculinities and sexualities in sport and education. Email: adam.white@winchester.ac.uk

Stefan Robinson is a doctoral research student at the University of Winchester whose thesis examines bromances and how athletes interpret their close friendships and relationships. Email: s.robinson.14@unimail.winchester.ac.uk

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