Dogfighting: Symbolic Expression and Validation of Masculinity

Dogfighting: Symbolic Expression and Validation of Masculinity This study examines the issue of masculinity indogfighting. Dogfighting is an illegal gaming sportcentered in the Southern United States. The data for thisstudy were obtained via ethnographic fieldwork over a period of two years. Interviews wereconducted with 31 dogmen, approximately 90% of whom werewhite males. In addition the authors attended 14dogfights and numerous pre-fight meetings. We argue that specific elements of this sport representsymbolic attempts at attaining and maintaining honor andstatus, which, in the (predominantly white, male,working-class) dogfighting subculture, are equated with masculine identity. We further argue thatpursuit of symbolic masculinity through dogfighting ismore important to working-class men, who possess feweralternative avenues for achieving status than do middle-class or professional men. Theimplications of this research for the larger culture ofmasculinity in the United States are alsoexplored. Sex Roles Springer Journals

Dogfighting: Symbolic Expression and Validation of Masculinity

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 1998 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
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