Exposures of Hypermasculinity: Aesthetic Portrayals of Disengaged “Hockey Boys” in a Specialized Sports Academy

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Concordia University of Edmonton
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The “boy crisis” in education has spurred responses to improve boy’s underachievement in schools, and one response has been to increase access to physical activity and sports. The rise in specialized sports academies within schools has created space for young elite male athletes to increase engagement in academics, as well as to meet the potential of athletes. This study, conducted with an elite U18 male hockey team, used photovoice as a means to enquire into male athlete experiences with the curriculum and disengagement in schools. When young male athletes use photography to document their experiences, through a Bourdieusian analysis, they reveal the ways in which an entrenchment of the “boys will be boys” and the “hockey boys” identities in schools perpetuate hypermasculine traits. Complacency by both participants and adults in the field of schooling contributes to elite male youth hockey players becoming both producers and products of these narratives, which are causing young men to be isolated within an exclusive heteronormative community.

Fowler (teresa.fowler@concordia.ab.ca) is with Concordia University of Edmonton, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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