Big and Pumped: Embodied Masculinity in Homosocial\ud Sporting Environments
Queering male homosocial sporting environments and the relationship to masculinity and the body, is a multidimensional under-researched area of\ud knowledge which experiences particular Queered epistemological challenges.\ud This thesis aims to consider the relationship that men have with their bodies in homosocial sporting environments. Acknowledgement is given to the bonds that\ud men make in defining their masculinity; this includes the role of the body and theenvironment in which this body exists. Ethical approval was granted from the University of East London. Participants were recruited via a poster campaign, or targeted via email. Four homosexual\ud and four heterosexual sportsmen were recruited into the study, representing a homogenous sample, in line with Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. The\ud data was acquired through semi-structured interviews; these were digitally recorded, with each interview lasting approximately one hour. The digitally\ud recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim, and prepared for analysis utilising Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology. Through the analysis and interpretation of the data, two superordinate themes\ud with seven subordinate themes evolved from the data. The first superordinate theme ‘Embodied Unrest of the ‘Bulked’ Torso: Muscle Ideology and Performative Violence’ has three subordinate themes. The second superordinate theme,\ud ‘Performative Masculinities Embodied in Homosocial Environments’ accumulatedfour subordinate themes.\ud In brief, three significant findings evolved as a result of the thematic data. This included the impact of bulked muscles e.g. the biceps, as a representation of\ud power, while at the same time the gaining of insights into how the body plays a significant role in defining masculinity and at time hierarchical disenfranchisement\ud to other men. A second finding resulted in the acknowledgement of a new tenant of Masculine Capital; this was entitled ‘Cock-Supremacy’. The final finding\ud highlighted discourse that suggested how sporting-footwear shapes how men bond and define masculinity in homosocial environments.\ud In conclusion, this research gains new insight into the role of embodiment within a homosocial sporting context. The changing nature of Masculine Capital is also in\ud flux, but consideration turns to new undiscovered ways in which sporting-footwear is shaping men’s definitions of masculinity. The results gained from this study not\ud only impact on sports sociology, but also have a significant importance in gender/masculinity/sex/uality studies.
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