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Week 10 Lecture

Course Code
Ann Mullen

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Michael Messner article:
Theoretical framework he lays out:
From 1990, 21 years old, some of this reflects the theoretical framework at that time
He situates his paper in dichotomy between socialization theory and
Socialization theory = regard sports as a way of socializing boys into masculinity
Part of socialization process where boys become masculine by participating in sports
Feminist Psychoanalytic theory = patterns of mothering, the way that mothers
mother create these deeply rooted differences between men and women
Even though this is different from socialization, the relationship with the mother is
really what creates these differences mothers are doing the work at home
The main argument in the feminist psychoanalytic theory is girls develop close
relationship with mother because they value relationship and closeness
Boys become attached and bonded in the same way, but at some point in their
childhood time, they see that they’re different from mothers gender and that they
need to separate from mothers
Because of this, boys develop this oppositional identity against other identities and
become feared from femininity to distinguish themselves from femininity
Is essential argument
There are these really big gender differences because of the mothering differences
Also leaves some room for social constructionist theory
Theres something that portrays as inevitable, girls are socialized and is inevitable
process, is functional perspective
The feminist psychoanalytical theory looks at how gender is constructed as not
inevitable, gender is socially constructed
We cant just take for granted masculinity and femininity, we need to look at how
they are socially constructed
Masculinity and femininity is no longer fixed, but they are changeable, mutable, and
Gender reign identities = it expresses this notion that this is an active construction
and ongoing construction, theres room for agency in construction where kids are
actively policing these gender identities
Gender is shaped and constructed through internal and social
One of the key quotes in this article is on pg. 420 the research question is in what
ways do...
How do men construct active masculine identities, and would race and class mediate
this relationship into different meanings and masculinities?
Based on interviews who were professional athletes
All boys being judged by their ability or lack of ability in sports
Even boys who are not athletes are judged by their comparisons to this athletic ideal
All boys are judged in relation to this athletic ideal by their ability or lack of ability
in sports
In some ways, we take this for granted and seems natural, but other countries are
cultured and this is not so much the norm
That becomes natural for boys it was what all boys did but not so much for girls
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