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In the Game
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Using interviews with openly gay and closeted team-sport athletes, Eric Anderson examines how homophobia is reproduced in sport, how gay male athletes navigate this, and how American masculinity is changing. By detailing individual experiences, Anderson shows how these athletes are emerging from their athletic closets and contesting the dominant norms of masculinity. From the locker rooms of high school sports, where the atmosphere of "don't ask, don't tell" often exists, to the unique circumstances that gay athletes encounter in professional team sports, this book analyzes the agency that openly gay athletes possess to change their environments.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction Overview Outline 1. Warming Up The Link between Sport and Homophobia Methods 2. Sport, Masculinity, and Hegemonic Oppression One Athlete's Story: Dale, High School Football Player Masculinity as Hegemonic Oppression Masculine Capital, Orthodox Masculinity, and Hegemonic Masculinity Maintaining Masculinity: Homophobia at Work Hegemonic Masculinity in School Culture Problematizing Sport Culture Sporting Hegemony and Gay Athletes 3. The Relationship between Gay Athletes and Sport One Athlete's Story: Aaron, Closeted NHL Player The Relationship between Gay Athletes and Sport Gay Athletes: Challenging Masculine Domination Representation of Gay Athletes in Sport 4. Systems of Masculine Reproduction One Athlete's Story: Terry, Retired Closeted NFL Player The Structure of Sport Sport as a Near-Total Institution Sport as a Gender-Segregated Institution Sport as a Closed-Loop Institution 5. Coming Out in Sport One Athlete's Story: Blake, High School Basketball Player Fear of Coming Out Coming Out in Sport Feelings of Liberation Reverse Relative Deprivation Homophobic Discourse The Evolving Coming Out Story 6. Mitigating Gay Stigma One Athlete's Story: Bob, Collegiate Track Star Using Masculine Capital to Mitigate the Stigma of Being Gay Increasing Masculine Capital through Performance The Effect of Masculine Capital on Coming Out Adopting All Other Tenets of Orthodox Masculinity 7. Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Resisting a Culture of Gay Athleticism One Athlete's Story: John, High School Basketball Player Don't Ask, Don't Tell The Price of Don't Ask, Don't Tell 8. Factors That Influence Acceptance One Team's Story: The Troubadours Cheerleading Team Factors That Influence Homosexual Acceptance The Coach Social Support Networks Institutional Attitudes The Intersectionality of Race and Coming Out Nature and Origin of the Sport Other Factors 9. The Center of Masculine Production: Gay Athletes in Professional Sports One Athlete's Story: Steven, Closeted NFL Player Professional Sports The Relationship between Professional Athletes and Homosexuality Professional-Sized Fear Professional Pressure Gay Athletes and the Sport-Media Complex The Employer Cracking the Center 10. Doing Something about It Research Findings Factors in a Positive Coming Out Experience How to Come Out to Your Team Avoiding the Bisexual Trap After Coming Out Dealing with Uncomfortable Situations On Being Attracted to Your Teammates When Things Don't Go Well The Importance of Comebacks Specific Issues for Gay Coaches Handling the Privacy Issue Warming Down Notes References Index SUNY Series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations

About the Author

Eric Anderson is Lecturer on Sociology at Stony Brook University, State University of New York and the author of Trailblazing: The True Story of America's First Openly Gay Track Coach.

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