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Taking the field : women, men, and sports

Author: Michael A Messner
Publisher: Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, ©2002.
Series: Sport and culture series, v. 4.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
A hard-hitting look at the persistent inequities in women{u2019}s sports participation. Michael Messner argues that despite profound changes, the world of sport largely retains and continues its longtime conservative role in gender relations.
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Michael A Messner
ISBN: 0816634483 9780816634484 0816634491 9780816634491
OCLC Number: 48682223
Description: xxii, 239 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: Center snap: children creating the fiction of gender --
Playing center: the triad of violence in men's sports --
Center of the diamond: the institutional core of sport --
Center of attention: the gender of sports media --
Contesting the center: just do what?
Series Title: Sport and culture series, v. 4.
Responsibility: Michael A. Messner.

Abstract:

A hard-hitting look at the persistent inequities in women{u2019}s sports participation. Michael Messner argues that despite profound changes, the world of sport largely retains and continues its longtime conservative role in gender relations.

In the past, when sport simply excluded girls, the equation of males with active athletic power and of females with weakness and passivity seemed to come easily, almost naturally. Now, however, with girls{u2019} and women{u2019}s dramatic movement into sport, the process of exclusion has become a bit subtler, a bit more complicated-and yet, as Michael Messner shows us in this provocative book, no less effective. In Taking the Field, Messner argues that despite profound changes, the world of sport largely retains and continues its longtime conservative role in gender relations.

To explore the current paradoxes of gender in sport, Messner identifies and investigates three levels at which the "center" of sport is constructed: the day-to-day practices of sport participants, the structured rules and hierarchies of sport institutions, and the dominant symbols and belief systems transmitted by the major sports media. Using these insights, he analyzes a moment of gender construction in the lives of four- and five-year-old children at a soccer opening ceremony, the way men{u2019}s violence is expressed through sport, the interplay of financial interests and dominant men{u2019}s investment in maintaining the status quo in the face of recent challenges, and the cultural imagery at the core of sport, particularly televised sports. Through these examinations Messner lays bare the practices and ideas that buttress-as well as those that seek to disrupt-the masculine center of sport.

Taking the Field exposes the subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which men and women collectively construct gender through their interactions-interactions contextualized in the institutions and symbols of sport.

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