No pain is sane after all: A foucauldian analysis of masculinities and men's experiences in rugby

Richard Pringle, Pirkko Markula

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    128 Citations (Scopus)


    In this article we present research that used Foucauldian theorizing to examine the articulations between masculinities and men's rugby union experiences of pain, fear, and pleasure. Data was collected via semistructured interviews with 14 New Zealand men of diverse rugby backgrounds. Results suggested that although rugby provided an influential discursive space for the negotiation of masculinities, these negotiations did not result in the simple (re)production of dominating discourses of masculinity. This finding supports the judgment that sport does not consistently or unambiguously produce culturally dominant conceptions of masculinities. The interview accounts revealed, nevertheless, that the games of truth surrounding rugby and masculinities were not played in an equitable manner. This finding helps justify concern about the social significance of popular heavy-contact sports and gendering processes. A strategy of resistance based on the resurrection of marginalized knowledges is discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)472-497
    Number of pages26
    JournalSociology of Sport Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

    Cite this