Norwegian handball and gender: towards a cultural sociology of sport
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This project highlights how we understand sports and how these understandings are shaped by and shape gender. The empirical focus is directed at televised elite handball and practiced youth handball in Norway. Grounded in these empirical specificities, I elucidate a set of underlying cultural processes that are unlikely to be unique to this sport and setting. Focusing culture in this manner reveals how conceptions of handball are structured by a code and how this code constrains and permits gendered innovation in sport and society. The analytic torque is provided by the use of a cultural sociological perspective. Spillman (2007) defines culture as processes of meaning-making and advocates that: Cultural sociologists investigate how meaning-making happens, why meaning vary, how meanings influence human action, and the ways meaning-making is important in social cohesion, domination and resistance (Spillman, 2002, p. 1). This project concerns meaning-making, sport and gender. I treat each of these concepts in distinct ways, with particular analytic priorities that require some clarification. Meaning-making in and by way of sports is the primary focus. Secondly, the investigation sheds light on how gender is mobilized to shape particular salient interpretations of sport. Third, I pose the question of how conceptions of gender are reshaped in sport-related contexts. From the former to the latter, this is also how purchase to my distinct analytic interests is made. A preoccupation with meaning-making through sports has persuaded a principal use of culture as perspective. This involves a meticulously hermeneutic approach that highlights the meaningful dimensions of contemporary Norwegian sport. Nevertheless, gender research and theory remain significant resources for interpretations of how, why and what happens when sport as a cultural phenomenon intersects with the social force of gender.Paper I: Broch, T. B. (2012). Masculine men playing a women's sport? Norwegian media representations of male handballers. Nordic journal for masculinity studies (NORMA), 7(2), 182-198.Paper II: Broch, T. B. (2014). "Smiles and laughs - all teeth intact": A cultural perspective on mediated women's handball in Norway. International Journal of Sport Communication, 7(1), 56-73. Tatt ut av filen i Brage p.g.a. copyright-restriksjoner. / Not in the file in Brage because of copyright issues.Paper III: Broch, T. B. (accept with revisions). What can Al Pacino teach Norwegian athletes: A Norwegian coach’s ritual use of Hollywood media to produce team culture. Sociology of Sport Jounal. Tatt ut av filen i Brage p.g.a. copyright-restriksjoner. / Not in the file in Brage because of copyright issues.Paper IV: Broch, T. B. (under review). The Cultural Significance of a Smile: An ethnographic account of how sport media inspires youth sport. Nordic Journal of Youth Research (Young).
Avhandling (doktorgrad) - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2014