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OpinionEditorial on Varda Burstyn's The Rites of Men Manhood, Politics, and the Culture of Sport - Essay Example

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In The Rites of Men: Manhood, Politics and the Culture of Sports, Varda Burstyn embarks on a discussion that tries to identify and explain how "the culture of big time sports generates, reworks and affirms an elitist masculinist account of power and social order on account of tis entitlement to power" (Burstyn , p…
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OpinionEditorial on Varda Burstyn's The Rites of Men Manhood, Politics, and the Culture of Sport

Download file to see previous pages... She asserts that the "success in sport is the most powerful social configuration of masculinity that any male can attain in our culture". In the spirit of feminist scholarship, Burstyn tries to reveal the discrimination and the oppressive forces directed towards women in the multibillion dollar enterprise encompassing professional sport to include even the ever expanding Olympics as well. The issue is pressing and deserves attention, according to Burstyn, for 'the rituals of sport engage more people in a shared experience than any other institution or cultural activity today." (p. 3) Indeed, sports coverage is available to almost all the people in the world. The central thesis in Burstyn's work is that "hypermasculinity" or the cultural exaltation of the ideal man is so much present in the way the technology-media complex is employed in the world of sports. Sports serve as an avenue for the perpetuation of the idea that males should be strong, enduring and victorious and not effeminate. In more popular terms, if you can't talk sports or be an athlete in some way, you have very little to tell yourself and others that you're a man.
For me, Burstyn was dedicated like Messner and Sabo (1...
mere second-class citizen in the hierarchy of sports whether it may be little league or professional in nature for they are unable to replicate the capacities of men in the playing field.,
According to Burstyn, the world of sports is a dynamic one with rules changing abruptly. While there are indeed certain images still associated in sports such as winners and losers, new stars on the rise, triumphs and defeats, the world of sports has become, albeit unconsciously, a tool for popularizing and commercializing the image of the ideal man.
I find it very interesting when Burstyn notes that the team which has long been cherished and a source of pride has become unimportant as "the ties that have bound athletes to their communities-whether in working-class England or postcolonial Africa-are being unraveled by commercialization and free trade in athletic labour. As the ties of locality, ethnicity, and nation come more and more undone, the ties of gender, of masculinity, become increasingly important." (p. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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