1st Edition

Inclusive Masculinities in Contemporary Football Men in the Beautiful Game

By Rory Magrath Copyright 2017
    218 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    218 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Football has traditionally been an institution hostile toward sexual minorities. Boys and men in the sport have deployed high levels of homophobia for multiple reasons. However, the ground-breaking research within this book shows that intolerant attitudes toward gay men are increasingly being challenged. Based on unprecedented access to Premier League academies, Inclusive Masculinities in Contemporary Football: Men in the Beautiful Game explores these changing attitudes toward homophobia in football today.

    Revealing a range of masculine identities never before empirically measured at this level of football, this book discusses the implications for the complex and enclosed structures of professional sport, and extends our understanding of contemporary masculinity. It also offers fresh insights to the importance of "banter" in the development of relationships and identities. This culture of banter often plays a paradoxical role, both facilitating and disrupting friendships formed between male footballers.

    As the first title in the Routledge Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities Series, this book is fascinating reading for all students and scholars interested in football and the study of gender, sexuality and the sociology of sport.


    [Eric Anderson, Mark McCormack, and Nick Rumens]

    Part I

    1. Researching Homophobia in Football

    2. The Research

    Part II

    3. A Social History of Association Football

    4. Football and Masculinity in the 20th Century

    5. Football and Masculinity in the 21st Century

    Part III 

    6. Inclusion of Gay Footballers

    7. Football Friendships

    8. Football Banter

    9. Football Language

    10. Inclusive Football Culture

    Appendix: Participant List


    Rory Magrath is a Lecturer in the School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences at Southampton Solent University, UK. His research focuses on the effects of declining homophobia in British sport, and how this impacts on the expression of contemporary masculinity. He has conducted research with footballers from Premier League academies and universities, as well as British football fans. His research has received media attention from The Guardian, BBC Radio 5 Live and London Evening Standard

    "Read it! As a former footballer and current sport scientist I appreciate this book for a number of reasons. It is an important work as it provides new ways to view, analyze and discuss contemporary male football -inside as well as outside of academia. We must be aware of and take into account the shifting (as well as prevailing) nature of masculinity constructions and power relations within male football." - Marie Larneby, Idrottsforum

    "... Magrath’s well-written and easily accessible monograph, Inclusive Masculinities in Contemporary Football: Men in the Beautiful Game, offers a more optimistic outlook on masculinities through examining the quasi-elite terrain of British academy football." - Adam White, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK