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The Changing Nature of Gay Rugby Clubs in the UK.

Muir, K., Anderson, E., Parry, K. D. and Letts, D., 2022. The Changing Nature of Gay Rugby Clubs in the UK. Sociology of Sport Journal, 39 (2), 178-185.

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DOI: 10.1123/ssj.2021-0024


Rugby has traditionally existed as a leading definer of masculinity in British culture, which has included overt homophobia. However, cultural attitudes towards homosexuality have improved rapidly in the twenty-first century. To assess the impact of wider societal change on gay rugby teams, we employed a multiple methods investigation across five gay rugby teams in England. Results show that, whereas athletes once played for these teams to escape homophobia in broader rugby culture, this is no longer true. Affiliation with gay clubs is now primarily for social purposes, and gay rugby clubs now protect the physical safety of gay men from being less prepared to play the game, whereas before it was safety from homophobia. This research shows that gay rugby clubs have undergone an organizational shift in response to the increased social acceptance of sexual minorities.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:sport; gay rugby; homosexuality; inclusive masculinity; masculinities
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:35576
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:07 Jun 2021 13:26
Last Modified:08 Jun 2022 12:06


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