Revisiting Relations between the Sexes in Sport on the Island of Ireland

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Abstract

This chapter makes the case for a more scientific-sociological analysis that reflects an appropriate balance between the roles of “participant” and “enquirer” in short, for an approach thatblends “dispassionate involvement” and “passionate detachment” (Dunning andHughes 2013, 157–61). This is important because, here, data are drawn from theauthor’s deep involvement in the field of competitive sports on the island of Ireland.This includes longstanding participation and nonparticipant observation inmale-associated sports, such as Gaelic football, soccer (association football), andrugby union; interviews with high-performance (elite) female athletes and leadingsports officials north and south of the border; and, the author’s experiences invarious leadership roles in women’s sports on the island. First is a necessarilysuccinct account of the established-outsider framework as it was proposedinitially by Elias and Scotson and developed subsequently by others. This will befollowed by a short theoretical overview of the civilizing of relations between thesexes and, related to this, the dynamics of group charisma and shame. There is a short note on the research methods employed here and, thereafter, a brief historical overview of some of the developments that have taken place in women’s sports in the last 20 years or so, both being a necessary foreground for the subsequent examination of females’ self-images and aspectsof the dynamics of group charisma and disgrace that can be seen in sport on theisland of Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNorbert Elias and Empirical Research
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages197-219
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-31213-6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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