Everyday Masculinities and Extreme Sport-Re-Thinking Methodologies

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: Booth 52
Oral Presentation
Victoria ROBINSON , University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Everyday Masculinities and Extreme Sport: Re-Thinking Methodologies

Victoria Robinson

This paper considers the taken-for-grantedness of everyday masculinity in relation to a UK research project on sporting masculinities (Robinson, 2008 and 2013). In this study of rock climbers some participants found it hard to reflect on their experiences in gendered terms. However, some participants were able to be open about and critically engage with such processes, which can be seen to constitute ‘masculinity’ or 'masculinities'. This was partially due to the 'extreme' nature of many aspects of the embodied and emotional rock climbing experience, as extraordinary events such as death of a climbing partner or the need to trust another man, sometimes literally, with their life, entailed that taken-for-granted aspects of masculinity had to be renegotiated or rethought in the aftermath of moments of great sporting intensity or crisis. This paper will reflect upon such patterns and, in so doing, re-visit some general methodological issues, for example, on the insider/outsider status of the researcher. The paper will also be informed by a consideration of the author and her auto-biographical position to the research both during and after the study.