17 October 2014
Analyzing Boyhood, Organized Sports, and the Construction of Masculinities The article written by Michael Messner explores what are some true contributing factors that prepare a young boy in male-hood leading up to masculinity. He analyzes how creating the male masculine identity for a young boy can be a result of participating in organized sports. He conducted his research starting out with interviewing 30 male athletes who mostly played baseball, basketball, football, and track. Each interviewee was retired and had at least been an athlete for 5 years. His main focus of the study were on males who desired to be an athlete and chose to commit to a lifestyle of physically perfecting specific skills in order to excel at the sport. The male child development stage also known, as “boyhood” is the stage Messner believed commitment to such a routine all start in order to become an athlete. The writer searched for factors involving masculinity involving how early they were committed to sports, the relationship with their families especially their relationship with their father or male figures, being in a competitive structure and the conditional efforts of self-worth.
The first point the author makes in the article is that sports are the “promise” to boyhood. As he interviewed retired athletes, one of the interviewees explained that sports was just part of the being a boy growing up. “It was like brushing teeth: it’s just what you did. It’s part of your existence” (Messner). Another aspect that influenced the commitment to sports was influence from family. Mostly the effect of male figures such as fathers, older brothers, uncles, coaches and so on. It was from these relationships that motivated each of the male athletes, and created a more a competitive edge for them when growing up against their peers. It was the values their father or older brothers set that introduced them to sports and had them...
Cited: Messner, M. (n.d.). Boyhood, Organized Sports, and the Construction of Masculinity. The Construction of Masculinities, 137-151. Retrieved October 14, 21.
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