This study investigates Norwegian television commentary of men’s team handball. Five World Championship games and 5 European Championship games were recorded and all commentaries transcribed. The main focus was to investigate gendered patterns and to suggest ways these patterns might shape particular understandings of the game and its players. By combining Connell’s gender perspectives with discourse analysis, implicit and explicit meanings were located within the commentaries. Further data analysis revealed that televised depictions of men’s handball hold a dominant focus on a specific form of masculinity. Fueled by gendered symbolism and metaphors, the word bang was identified as a key signifier for this particular form of masculinity. The contextual use of bang was analyzed as connoting and reproducing specific notions of sport and masculinities.
The author is with the Dept. of Cultural and Social Studies, Norwegian School of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway.