Sport, Physical Education, and Islam: Muslim Independent Schooling and the Social Construction of Masculinities

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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This qualitative study of a British Islamic independent school explores the construction of religious masculinities within the lives of a cohort of Muslim adolescent males. An ethnographic analysis is presented whereby boys’ physical education is located as a strategic site for the development of Muslim masculine identities. Adopting a symbolic interactionist perspective, the article discusses the representation of pupil masculinities within the school and the specific role that Islam, sport, and physical education played in respondent lives. Findings highlight how religion provided a central mechanism through which pupils sought to construct and negotiate their masculine selves. In turn, physical education served as an avenue through which respondents could embrace and embody their sense of self and express a series of broader religious ideals.

Farooq is in the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK; Parker is in the Faculty of Sport, Health, and Social Care, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, GL2 9HW, UK.

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