When Bodies are Weapons

Qingru Xu (2016), “When Bodies are Weapons: Media Representation of Masculinity in Sports-Related Violence,” American Sociological Association Annual Conference (ASA), Seattle, WA, August 20-22.

Abstract: Sport has proven to be one of the key institutional sites for the study of the social construction of gender. On September 12, 2015, a Kiss Cam incident during a football game between the University of Wake Forest and the University of Syracuse triggered an intense debate on Internet, in which two women were aggressively forced to kiss strangers. The offensive Kiss Cam is just “a tip of the iceberg” of sexual violence in sports area, a place where is highly expressed by masculinity. No matter in professional sports, college sports, or in the criminal justice system, sport-related sexual violence is often viewed as a part of the game, and has been usually ignored from the public. The examination of the masculinity construction in sport-related violence could provide an opportunity to explore the social meanings of sports violence and the gender ideology underlying the sports culture. Adopting male hegemony theory as a theoretical framework, this study is going to examine how media represent masculinity in the Kiss Cam incident. By applying a five-level socio-ecological model of sports violence, I am going to further explore the dynamic interplay between individual, interpersonal, situational, environmental, and social- structural factors.

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