Men Studying Masculinity: Some Epistemological Issues in Sport Sociology

in Sociology of Sport Journal

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Michael A. MessnerUniversity of Southern California

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This paper evaluates a growing genre of studies of masculinity and sport. It is argued that sport sociology, like sociology in general, has become more gender conscious but not necessarily more feminist. Feminist critiques of objectivism and value-free sociology and feminist calls for a values-based feminist standpoint are discussed. Two responses to feminism by male scholars—antifeminist masculinism and profeminism—are discussed and critically analyzed. Finally, it is argued that studies of masculinity and sport are more likely to tell a true story if they are grounded in an inclusive feminism, which utilizes multiple standpoints that take into account the intersections of class, race, gender, and other systems of domination and subordination.

Michael A. Messner is with the Program for the Study of Women and Men in Society, Taper Hall 331M, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-4352.

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