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Masculinity and Popular Television$
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Rebecca Feasey

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627974

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627974.001.0001

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Sports: media events and masculine discourse

Sports: media events and masculine discourse

(p.94) 9. Sports: media events and masculine discourse
Masculinity and Popular Television

Rebecca Feasey

Edinburgh University Press

Sports television is a generic label that covers a wide range of different production practices such as live sports coverage, magazine programmes, quiz shows, chat shows and fictional dramas dedicated to the world of sport. Although they have distinctions in style, presentation and format, all are committed to the masculine discourses in general and to the hierarchy of hegemonic masculinity in particular. This chapter offers a brief history of organised sports, and draws attention to the ways in which television actually controls and creates rather than simply covers particular sporting events. It also illustrates the ways in which women are routinely trivialised, infantilised and sexualised in sports in general and television sports coverage in particular. The chapter furthermore examines the ways in which male-appropriate sports tend to situate the hegemonic male as the site of heroic masculinity, and the ways in which they marginalise alternative representations and images of the male. However, even though the world of sport seems to reinforce the traditional masculine values such as aggressiveness, strength, success and stoicism, sports stars such as David Beckham, Andre Agassi and Gavin Henson have challenged the very foundations of the hegemonic hierarchy, reminding us that the image of the dominant, aggressive and competitive male is merely a historical and cultural construct which can be exploited or negated.

Keywords:   sports television, sport, hegemonic masculinity, organised sports, heroic masculinity, traditional masculine values, television sports coverage

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