Sporting the Masculine Mantra: A Post Structural Analysis of Gender and Wellbeing in Competitive Men’s University Athletics
MetadataShow full item record
Gender has been widely recognized as an important factor that influences student health. This is particularly evident within the student athlete population, as inter-collegiate athletics and sporting spaces on post-secondary campuses have been generally defined as hypermasculine sites where athletes are mistreated and excluded due to their violation of the norms of hegemonic masculinity. It has been posited that the culture of hegemonic masculinity operating within competitive men’s sport works to stigmatize and devalue non-dominant groups. While competitive sport has been linked to health benefits, it has been theorized that the masculine nature of sport has the potential to hinder the health and wellbeing of men athletes. The purpose of this study was to explore how the experiences of masculinity in men’s competitive university sport relate to the health and wellbeing of competitive men’s university athletes. A transformative framework and poststructuralist approach were used. A participant group of eleven men-identified athletes from local universities varsity teams of basketball, football, and soccer were recruited through university athletic departments and social media postings. In-depth and semi-structured interviews were conducted, and discourse analysis was used to explore athlete-coach relationships, gendered language, physical health and injury, mental health, and masculine norms and values. The examination of themes and discourse helps construct a rich understanding of the relationship between masculinity and health and wellbeing of men in competitive sport.