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Negotiating Norms, Challenging Stigmas: Athletes’ Management of Gender, Sexuality, and Emotion on and off the Field

Title:

Negotiating Norms, Challenging Stigmas: Athletes’ Management of Gender, Sexuality, and Emotion on and off the Field

Légère, Jessica (2013) Negotiating Norms, Challenging Stigmas: Athletes’ Management of Gender, Sexuality, and Emotion on and off the Field. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Sport participation can be psychologically and socially damaging to athletes. Although sport is a major cultural force often correlated with socially positive aspects and benefits such as elevated self-esteem, academic success, and financial rewards, sport can also be a socially constructed site where individuals often feel pressured to conform to dominant gender and, by extension, sexual norms. Athletes often find themselves negotiating norms and challenging stigmas where gender and sexuality are concerned as they endeavour to fashion identities that will be deemed acceptable to the culture in which they find themselves. This dissertation outlines a study conducted to explore the complex symbolic significance attributed to the construction and performance of various male and female identities in the world of sports. In particular, it will examine the relationship between the sportsworld, as a social construct, and the subsequent pressure of the dominant gender/sexual norms. Questionnaires were handed out to fourteen different Canadian university sports teams (N=261) as part of a research project with the overarching objective of identifying the ways in which athletes cope with social stigmas, manage gender and sexuality identities and emotions, and achieve social conformity. With this in mind, the athletes were asked a range of questions, most of which focused on the following themes: athletic characteristics, coping strategies, emotions, and sexual orientation. This dissertation will offer a synopsis of the data and findings. It will conclude by discussing key limitations that have been identified over the course of the research and by suggesting topics requiring further investigation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Légère, Jessica
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology
Date:April 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lafrance, Marc
Keywords:gender, sexuality, identity, emotion, sports, athletes
ID Code:977051
Deposited By: JESSICA LEGERE
Deposited On:19 Jun 2013 16:30
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:43

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