Global Sport | GLOBALSPORT - Globalization, Sport and the Precarity of Masculinity
GLOBALSPORT - Globalization, Sport and the Precarity of Masculinity
GLOBALSPORT, Globalization, Sport, Precarity of Masculinity
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Globalization, Sport and the Precarity of Masculinity

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Informal Rugby Game, Rural Fiji - Image by Niko Besnier
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Informal Rugby Game, Rural Tonga - Image by Niko Besnier
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Rugby Players as National Heroes, Fiji - Image by Niko Besnier
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Dakar Wresting Match - image by Mark Hann
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Dakar Wresting Match - image by Mark Hann
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Dakar Wresting Match - image by Mark Hann
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Kenya Running Archway at entrance of Iten - image by Michael Peters
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Aspiring Kenyan Runners at Home - image by Michael Peters
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Morning Interval Workout on the Track at Kamariny Stadium, Iten - image by Michael Peters
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Runners Complete 1,000 Meter Repeats at the Kamariny Stadium, Iten - image by Michael Peters
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Beach Cricket in Trinidad - image by Adnan Hossain
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Caribbean Cricket Premier League 2015 - image by Adnan Hossain
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Trinidad Cricket Club - image by Adnan Hossain
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Cricketers Training in Trinidad - image by Adnan Hossain
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Indo-Trinidadian Cricketer with his Trophies - image by Adnan Hossain
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Indian Bodybuilding - image by Michiel Baas

GLOBALSPORT

In the last few decades, the erosion of the social and economic structures that previously provided a straightforward raison d’être to men have transformed, in all societies of the world, masculinity into a problematic category. In the Global South, deepening economic, political and social insecurities have further compounded the fragility of masculinity. Younger men in particular find it increasingly difficult to secure a productive role in local economies, and many in the world’s more destitute countries are investing their hopes in the possibility of becoming a successful professional athlete. But athletic talent can only translate into economic productivity in the industrial North, and athletic migrations have become, for a large number of boys, young men, families, villages, nations and states in the Global South, the solution for a masculinity under threat, the way out of economic precarity, and the embodiment of millenarian hope. At the same time, athletic bodies are inherently fragile, the sports industry fickle, and the paths of migrant athletes strewn with obstacles, rendering deeply problematic yet unavoidable the dependence of so many individuals on the success of a few.

This multi-sited comparative ethnographic project, funded by the European Research Council for the period 2012–17, seeks to investigate the migratory dynamics at play between selected developing countries and selected countries in the industrial world in three different sports, soccer-football, rugby union, and cricket. It explores ways in which these three sports represent for young talented hopeful in the Global South various embodiments of hope for the redemption of masculinity and of its productive potentials. The research will open new theoretical avenues for an understanding of the constitution of masculinity in the context of globalisation, changes in the structure of nation-states and the meaning of citizenship, and the constitution of everyday lives in more destitute regions of the world.

OUR LATEST BLOG POSTS

  • A photo from the exhibition which accompanied the Amsterdam screening of Yëngël Gësëm

    Yëngël Gësëm – Wrestling with hope

    In spring 2015, GLOBALSPORT member Mark Hann teamed up with Senegalese filmmaker Mamadou Khouma Gueye with the goal of making a film about the hopes, desires, and lives of aspiring athletes in Senegal. The collaboration resulted in the ethnographic documentary “Yëngël Gësëm – Wrestling with......

  • Playing for your job. A player from the Lomaiviti team carries the ball during a preseason match against well-fed members of the Fire Department rugby team (Suva, Fiji, March 2016)

    Economies of Hope and Rugby Dreams in Rural Fiji

    The Economy of Dreams Daniel Guinness and Niko Besnier In Fiji, the outside world profoundly and directly affects even small i-Taukei (indigenous) villages. As part of our fieldwork on the migration of Fijian rugby players, we visited one such village, which we will call Koromakawa,......