Indigenous masculinity in sport: the power and pitfalls of rugby league for Australias Pacific Island diaspora

Hawkes, G 2018, 'Indigenous masculinity in sport: the power and pitfalls of rugby league for Australias Pacific Island diaspora', Leisure Studies, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 318-330.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Indigenous masculinity in sport: the power and pitfalls of rugby league for Australias Pacific Island diaspora
Author(s) Hawkes, G
Year 2018
Journal name Leisure Studies
Volume number 37
Issue number 3
Start page 318
End page 330
Total pages 13
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Abstract Pasifika men are significantly over-represented in Australias National Rugby League and their dramatic influx into the sport over the past 1015 years has often been attributed to their natural athleticism and other corporeal reasons invoking hyper-masculinity. Coupled with this discourse is the commonly accepted idea that these sporting opportunities are a good thing for Pasifika peoples. This paper considers both the damaging effects of the hyper-masculine body and sport-as-inherently good discourses, and addresses the positive potential rugby league has in transgressing various forms of oppression. Rather than arguing that sport is a positive force in society or outright challenging that assertion, I demonstrate how rugby league in Australia plays a paradoxical role in both reinforcing and challenging social values around race and masculinity. It can be a rare space for positive visibility and upward mobility for Pasifika and other Indigenous men, and a space of exploitation, degradation and racism; it can even save lives and destroy them. I argue that these complexities should be better understood before any moral claim is made about the positives or negatives of sport for marginalised peoples.
Subject Tourism not elsewhere classified
Sociology not elsewhere classified
Commercial Services not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) diaspora
Indigenous masculinity
Pasifika
race
rugby league
sport
DOI - identifier 10.1080/02614367.2018.1435711
Copyright notice © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN 0261-4367
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