Men, Masculinities and Rock Climbing

Robinson, Victoria (2002). Men, Masculinities and Rock Climbing. Everyday Cultures Working Papers 5; Pavis Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes.


This paper is based on a qualitative study with rock climbers based in the UK. It is concerned with the ʻextremeʼ or ʻriskʼ sport of climbing to critically investigate whether hegemonic masculine identities can be regarded as more flexible and shifting than previously assumed. Central findings of this research have stressed the importance of the body, risk and gender relations. These findings both add to and problematize other research on masculinities, identities and sport. The paper also examines both ordinary and extraordinary aspects of the everyday, especially in the context of risk and competition. It concludes by suggesting that further studies of sporting masculinities could be fruitfully undertaken, arguing for a comparison of rock climbing with other sports, the importance of relational studies of sport with women participants and the need to study local sports in the context of globalization.

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