'No rugby - no fear': collective stories, masculinities and transformative possibilities in schools

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This paper contributes to the development of a critical pedagogy in physical education (PE) by illustrating how 'collective stories' can be used within schools to help raise awareness of the relationships between sport, PE and gendered identities. A collective story, a concept developed by Laurel Richardson, aims to give voice to those silenced or marginalised by dominant cultural narratives and promote transformative possibilities. Within this paper I present a collective story of eight men's school experiences of rugby union to illustrate the difficulty of negotiating comforting stories of self in the face of rugby's cultural dominance within New Zealand. I detail the representational issues associated with constructing the story and my experience of presenting it to school students to assess whether it encouraged an empathetic response and disrupted romanticised ways of conceptualising the links between sport and masculinities. I conclude by discussing how I used the collective story, as a pedagogical tool, to examine the viability of introducing Foucauldian strategies to help students think critically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-237
Number of pages23
JournalSport, Education and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Collective stories
  • Critical literacy
  • Foucauldian theorising
  • Masculinities
  • Rugby union

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