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Intimations of masculinities among young male sports bettors
journal contributionposted on 2019-05-21, 00:00 authored by M Lamont, Nerilee HingNerilee Hing
This study explored intimations of masculinities within narratives of young Australian men who bet regularly on sport. Qualitative data collected from white, heterosexual Australian men aged 18–34 revealed their sports betting as characterised by four interrelated intimations of masculinities. Sports betting was portrayed as masculine leisure with the young men’s sports betting interest often influenced by older males and male peers. A foundation and context for social interactions among male peers, sports betting provided a backdrop for formative masculine identity construction. An entrenched male peer group norm, sports betting success produced cultural capital and subsequent social status by virtue of analytic skill, risk-taking and boisterous, competitive social interactions. However, sports betting was widely perceived as stigmatised leisure capable of prejudicing the young men’s prospective or existing intimate relationships with women. The young men negotiated this dilemma by adopting softer projections of masculinity in which sports betting was concealed in the presence of their spouse or prospective female partners. We therefore theorise sports betting as an augmentation to sport as a bastion for the construction of heteronormative masculinity, whilst lending further support to conceptualisations of masculine identities as plural and fluid. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.