Masculinity in sport promotion: a contemporary crisis?

Sport, Promotional Culture and the Crisis of Masculinity, explores the links between sport, masculinity, promotional and consumer culture.

The cover of Sport, Promotional Culture and the Crisis of Masculinity.

Dr Sarah Gee.

A new book, co-authored by Dr Sarah Gee from the School of Sport and Exercise, captures the contested terrain of contemporary masculinity with a specific focus on the role of the media and promotional culture within sport.

Sport, Promotional Culture and the Crisis of Masculinity asks whether sport is the final frontier of masculinity in society and focuses on how the production and representation of sport-related advertising and marketing contributes to the shifting nature of masculinity and its alleged crisis.

Dr Gee, a senior lecturer in the sociology of sport, co-wrote the book with Professor Steven Jackson from the University of Otago.

It examines several examples spanning sport celebrity, professional sport leagues, beer advertising and indigenous cultures, exploring the links between sport, masculinity, promotional and consumer culture.

“Our primary focus was the representation of masculinity in sport-related advertisements, and how it contributes to one of the most hotly debated sociocultural concepts of our era: a contemporary crisis of masculinity. We interrogate the existence, nature and potential effects of a ‘crisis’ by examining the power of sport-related promotional culture and advertising in the reproduction and negotiation of what ‘real men’ are and the impact on social attitudes, beliefs and private experiences.

“We present a diverse suite of case studies that uncover the ways in which sport’s connection to masculinity is both created and used by corporations and advertising executives that contribute to broader gender relations in society,” Dr Gee says.

The book illustrates how advertising and promotional campaigns reinforce particular forms of hegemonic masculinity while also accommodating new forms.

Sport, Promotional Culture and the Crisis of Masculinity will interest students and scholars in the fields of sociology of sport, media studies, marketing, gender and masculinity studies.

Dr Gee’s current research includes the role of alcohol as part of the entertainment experience of major sports events and the complex links between alcohol promotion, sports sponsorship, gendered identities, and drinking cultures.

Professor Jackson is a former President of the International Sociology of Sport Association and specialises in the socio-cultural analysis of sport with a research focus on globalisation, national identity and the media.

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