Sexual Abuse and Masculine Cultures: Reflections on the British Football Scandal of 2016

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Abstract

Drawing on the assumption that it is possible to learn a great deal about cultures by analysing circumstances where routine thoughts and conceptions of ‘normal’ practice are radically disturbed, this chapter investigates the views of a self-selecting sample of male amateur and semi-professional football players (current and former) towards the child sexual abuse scandal that rocked British football in 2016. By exploring how agents make sense of what has been uncovered, this chapter raises polarising views that are indicative of a culture in the process of transition. Focusing on the social environment that surrounds men’s football, it illustrates how historically embedded hyper-masculine cultures can encourage the reproduction of the ‘archetypical’ strong, silent male—a situation that is thought to discourage the public disclosure of sexual abuse. In contrast, this chapter also draws attention to the process of cultural change. Contemporary football cultures are thought by some to provide an inclusive, supportive environment that welcomes multiple masculinities and encourages all players to share personal problems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Sport
EditorsRory Magrath, Jamie Cleland, Eric Anderson
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Chapter5
Pages73-93
Number of pages20
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9783030197995
ISBN (Print)9783030197988
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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