From Boys to Men (and Back Again)

Rugby and Masculinity in Britain and France
By Philip Dine

From boys to men (and back again) : rugby and masculinity in Britain and France.

This article considers the role of rugby football in the construction of local, regional, and national identities, as well as in the maintenance and reinforcement of conventional gender identities for its overwhelmingly male practitioners, administrators and spectators. It considers this sport’s emergence as a vehicle for traditional masculine values in Britain and France, and also as a site of both personal liberation and social control. The principal argument proposed is that even an obviously gendered and institutionalised activity may best be understood in terms of its dynamic tensions and its capacity for change, however unsuspected or strongly resisted these may be.


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