The “Anti-Jock” Movement: Reconsidering Youth Resistance, Masculinity, and Sport Culture in the Age of the Internet

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Brian Wilson University of British Columbia

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This paper explores issues relevant to youth, masculinity, Internet, and sport studies through a case study of the “anti-jock” (cyber)movement. The anti-jock movement is group of self-described “marginalized youth” who, through the production and consumption of anti-jock Websites, express dissatisfaction with and anger toward institutions that uncritically adulate hyper-masculine/high-contact sport culture and the athletes who are part of this culture (i.e., the “jocks"). Through these Websites, strategies of resistance against the “pro-jock” establishment are offered. An analysis of these sites acts as a departure point for considering how existing approaches to understanding youth cultural activity might be integrated with strands of new social movement theory to better account for more advanced forms of youth opposition/activism that have emerged following (and as a partial result of) the mass adoption of Internet-based communication. Also included is a discussion of the potential for anti-jock Websites specifically, and youth produced alternative-media generally, to empower youth and/or alter the oppressive forces that impact various “outsider” youth groups. The paper concludes with suggestions for future work that would extend and evaluate the ideas proposed here.

The author is with the School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia. Vancouver, BC.

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