This paper introduces readers to the field of male-associated sports in the Republic of Ireland with specific reference to power relations between the sexes. It situates a present-day social phenomenon, i.e. Irish females’ increasing involvement in traditional male-associated sports such as Gaelic football, rugby and soccer, within the context of social processes in which more or less independent groups have become more interdependent. Qualitative data from twelve in-depth interviews with high performance female athletes are situated within a sociological analysis of the emergence and development of these sports for women. These are used to support the argument that the relatively slight shift in the balance of power in favour of females has led to feelings of emancipation amongst females and resistance amongst males, though this resistance is gradually becoming weaker. Elias’ theory of “established-outsider” relations is used to suggest that females who participate in these sports can be described as an ‘outsider’ group, one that has lacked the organizational resources and networks of mutual assistance needed to shift significantly the uneven balance of power between the sexes. Moreover, typical of outsiders in their relations with the ‘established’, dominant stereotypical views of females remain embedded in the personality structures of ‘outsiders’.
|Journal||European Journal for Sport and Society|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2005|
Bibliographical noteReference text: Dunning, E. (1986). Sport as a Male Preserve: Notes on the Social Sources of Masculine Identity and its Transformations. In N. Elias & E. Dunning (Eds.), Quest for Excitement: Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process (267-284). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Dunning, E. (1992). Figurational Sociology and the Sociology of Sport: Some concluding remarks. In E. Dunning & C. Rojek (Eds.), Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process (221-285). London: Macmillan.
Dunning, E. (1999). Sport Matters: Sociological Studies of Sport, Violence and Civilization. London: Routledge.
Elias, N. (1987). Involvement and Detachment. London: Blackwell.
Elias, N. (1991). The Society of Individuals. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Elias, N. & Scotson, J. (1994). The Established and the Outsiders. London: Sage. (This was originally published in 1965. The 1994 edition contains the important 1976 Introduction written for the Dutch translation.)
Fasting, K. (2004). Gender Mainstreaming and Sport in Europe. Presentation to 2nd European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference, Rzesow, Poland, May 27-30.
Krawczyk, Z. (2004). Sport in a Changing Europe. Presentation to 2nd European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference, Rzesow, Poland, May 27-30.
Liston, K. (2002). The Gendered Field of Irish Sport. In M. Corcoran & M. Peillon (Eds.), Ireland Unbound: A Turn of the Century Chronicle (234-247). Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
Established-outsider relations between males and females in male-associated sports in Ireland 33
Liston, K. & Menzies, G. (Eds.). (2004). Women and Sport: Report for the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Sports, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Dublin: Government of Ireland Publications. Forthcoming.
Mennell, S. (1992). Norbert Elias: An Introduction. Dublin: University College Dublin Press.
Sheard, K. (1997). Aspects of Boxing in the Western “Civilizing Process”. International Review of the Sociology of Sport, 32, 1, 31-59.
Sheard, K. & Dunning, E. (1973). The Rugby Football Club as a Type of “Male Preserve”: some sociological notes. International Review of Sport Sociology, 8, 5-24.
Van Krieken, R. (1998). Norbert Elias. London: Routledge.
Van Stolk, B. & Wouters, C. (1987). Power Changes and Self-Respect: A Comparison of Two Cases of Established-Outsider Relations. Theory, Culture and Society, 4, 4, 477-488.
Wouters, C. (2004). Sex and Manners: Female Emancipation in the West 1890-2000. London: Sage.