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Cultural influences on equity and sports participation

BEFORE YOU START


Have you considered how society has affected your opportunities to participate in sport? How has Australias sporting success shaped Australian culture? What sporting stereotypes exist and how do they affect participation? Is there equality between the sexes in the sporting arena? How does sport give identity to groups from different ethnic backgrounds within our society? In this chapter, we will examine how the cultural level of Figueroas framework can be used to understand how socialisation has shaped the role of sport in Australia. The idealistic notion that every Australian has the same opportunity to pursue the physical activity of their choice is unrealistic because society puts up barriers. These barriers can be strengthened by cultural attitudes that reinforce existing practices, limiting equal opportunities. As more people become aware of the barriers that exist and how they have been created, opportunities can be developed to bring about change. This chapter will look at a range of factors that have shaped the opportunities to participate in sport in Australian society.

CHAPTER OVERVIEW
A brief history of sport in Australia Australias sporting identity Socialisation Gender roles and stereotypes Ethnic identity 307 313 313 314 324

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A brief history of sport in Australia


Australias sporting culture is heavily inuenced by our history as a former British colony. Early settlers from Britain and Ireland brought with them attitudes and beliefs about sport, and they also brought with them the games that were popular in Britain.

Building manliness and character


In nineteenth-century Britain, sport was viewed as a manly pursuit. It was believed that participating in physical activity fostered the ideals of the English gentleman. British public schools (which are the equivalent of private schools in Australia) encouraged boys to play team games to learn the masculine qualities of leadership and courage. Schoolmasters viewed games as a way to distract pupils from youthful sexual experimentation and rebellion against school authority. Games were incorporated into boys public schools because it was believed that participating in sport built social character and provided discipline. These attributes and skills were prerequisites for upper-class social life, which the sons of the socially privileged must acquire. In contrast, physical activity for girls was promoted largely for health reasons. It was also accepted that playing games, particularly cricket, could develop Christian values. Cricket provided a social education for its participantsa concept that became known as muscular Christianity. Anglican priests of the Christian socialist movement encouraged working-class boys to participate in sport as a means of moral and physical salvation. The concept of the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit was important and, as such, young boys were encouraged to remain t and healthy.

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Figure 9.1

Australias sporting culture originates in our colonial history.

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Colonial sportsmanship
Most of Australias early settlers were neither gentlemen nor public schoolboys; they were convicts and working-class people seeking opportunity in a new country. Even in the early days of European settlement, however, sport was a popular pastime in colonial Australia. Sport in nineteenth-century Australia was organised by publicans around public housesplaces reserved for males. As a result, gambling, drinking and violent behaviour became associated with sport. The typical Australian in the colonies was male, heterosexual and Anglo-Saxon, and a sporting version of mateship developed. Mateship included loyalty to teammates and playing hard but within the rules. The colonists were believed to be, and often proved themselves to be, more physically robust than their British counterparts. This could be attributed to the rugged physical environment they were forced to deal with in Australia, the hardships they endured and the courage they showed to survive. Consequently Australian working-class sportsmen became admired for their physical strength, and the qualities associated with this imagephysical toughness and resiliencewere highly valued. Being successful at sport was very important to the colonies. International cricket matches, which were rst held in 1877, were considered tests between nationslong before Australia was an independent nationand the outcome signicantly inuenced Australias developing national identity. The emerging nations success was often measured by the result of a sporting match. International victories in cricket, football, rowing and foot-racing were inuential in rectifying the colonists feelings of inferiority to Britain. The victories fostered national pride and brought Australia increased recognition and status.

EXTENSION
Research a variety of sports that were played in Australia during the colonial years. For each sport you research, identify who the sport was played by (age, gender and social class) and describe its purpose.

Amateurs and professionals


Sport has historically meant different things to different social groups. The British class system was mirrored in Australias colonies; people who had social and economic power were the dominant class. Sports pursued by those with a private school education, a respectable profession and an established family reputation included cricket, tennis, golf, rowing, yachting, hunting and horse racing. Such sports were ruled by appropriate codes of behaviour and were the pastimes of the upper class, who had time for leisure. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, working-class people worked six days a week and were expected to attend church on Sundays, leaving little time for sport or other leisure activities. Athletes were also divided according to amateur or professional status, reinforcing the class divide. Professional athletes were paid for their participation. Amateurs were those who participated as a hobby and who did not seek or need payment. An amateur athlete was dened as a person: who has never competed for a money prize, staked bet, or declared wager, or who has not knowingly and without protest competed with or against a professional for a prize of any description or for public exhibition, or who has never taught, pursued or assisted in the practice of any athletic exercise as a means of livelihood or for pecuniary [monetary] gain.

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Figure 9.2

The working classes were excluded from amateur athletic association competitions.

Working-class athletes did not have the leisure time of the wealthy and were only able to take time off work if their sport offered a prize or payment. These payments compensated them for the wages lost while away from their jobs. The concept of amateurism was developed to protect the middle and upper classes from a working-class invasion of their leisure activities. Many sporting clubs restricted membership to amateurs to exclude the working classes from the clubs and games of the upper classes. Those who used their athletic skill for prot, or as a source of income, were considered unt for membership and undesirable by the pillars of society. Sport was not seen as an appropriate way to earn a living; it was not a proper job. Excluding professionals was also believed to guarantee the codes of conduct and playing conventions associated with gentlemanly behaviour. Amateurism was associated with moral superiority. For example, in cricket matches, players were labelled gentlemen or players, depending on their social status. Players were those who had poorer social origins and who used their physical skills to gain a prize; gentlemen were amateurs who played as a hobby. On tour, the two groups lived in separate accommodation and entered the eld from separate gates. In England, clubs employed players to bowla task considered to be manual labourwhereas the gentlemen batted. It is important to note that loopholes existed so that gentlemen could receive some payment for their participation but still maintain their amateur status. It is clear, then, that the term amateur was related more to a persons social status than to a strict interpretation of whether or not the person was paid. Another method often used to exclude the lower classes was to increase ticket prices for spectators. For example, the Western Australian Turf Club raised the gate fee during the depression of the 1890s. The leisure pursuits that called for wealth, time and space became the possession of the upper and middle classes. Membership of the ruling bodies of clubs or associations (such as the amateur athletics clubs) was also socially restricted. Without sufcient social standing it was impossible to become a member of a club board. The social stigma associated with professionalism and sport lingered until late in the twentieth century. For example, the International Olympics Committee only relaxed its rules barring professional athletes from competing in the 1970s.

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ACQUIRE
1 Compare the meanings of amateur and professional in the nineteenth century with their meanings today. 2 Describe how the upper class manipulated the term amateur to protect their games from working-class intrusion.

EXTENSION
A puritan sporting ethos claimed that a gentleman played only for the love of the game. 1 Conduct a class debate on the topic Athletes today should play purely for the love of the game. 2 After your debate, construct a PMI (positives, minuses and interesting points) chart to summarise your thoughts on the discussion.

Womens sporting history


In the nineteenth century, womens participation in sport was based on social class, as it was for men. Upperclass women, who had the luxury of time for sport, still had to adhere to appropriate codes of conduct and maintain their femininity. They participated in physical activity as a source of recreation and relaxation, rather than for competition and performance. It was not until the middle of the nineteenth century that women were allowed to accompany their male relatives to watch some sporting events such as horse races and baseball games. Late in the nineteenth century, women were given the opportunity to participate in organised sports. Golf, archery, and croquet were the rst sports to gain acceptance among women because they did not involve physical contact or strain. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, golf was one of the few sports that women undertook competitively. Clubs were established throughout the colonies by 1895. Ladies could only be associate members, however, because club members believed that women were supposed to be socially minded, not competitive. As they were associate members, not full

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Figure 9.3 Lawn tennis was a social activity that was seen to encourage grace.

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members, women had little power in club politics and few club privileges. Womens play was limited to certain days, and women were often excluded from the clubhouse. This practice still continues at some golf clubs today. Women participated in sport for the social contact. Activities such as tennis, golf, croquet, archery, rowing and sailing were undertaken by those with sufcient time for recreation, access to the necessary equipment and the social contacts for participation. For example, tennis courts were privately owned and located at homes in fashionable suburbs, so women played tennis by invitation only. Although physical activity was seen as a masculine pursuit, women did participate in a range of sports. If they did play, however, they did so without any displays of exertion. Because perspiring, physical contact and competition were not socially acceptable or ladylike behaviour, womens physical recreation activities and opportunities were limited. Gentle exercise was seen to benet womens health and help them to develop other feminine qualities such as graceful movement. Womens restrictive clothing, such as long dresses and ornamental hats, also limited their participation in strenuous activity. The all-male medical profession of the time fostered the belief that strenuous exercise would be detrimental to the health and reproductive organs of women. In contrast, light exercise was considered to be healthy and assist in childbirth. Unlike men, women were not believed to be strong enough to withstand vigorous activity.

Figure 9.4 Fanny Durack was a pioneering Australian sportswoman.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, was a proponent of this notion and strongly campaigned against women participating in the Olympic Games. The rst time Australian women competed at the Olympic Games was in 1912. At the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, Australians Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie won gold and silver medals respectively in the 100-metre freestyle swimming event. Bathing was seen as an acceptable sporting pastime for women because men and women were segregated. Beginning in 1839, community baths were established throughout the colonies, and women were able to attend swimming classes. A fee of sixpence was charged to visit the baths, so women from the lower classes were less likely to attend. Even with the conservative swimming costumes of the nineteenth century, at the beach both men and women could use bathing machines to ensure privacy from observers. Bathing machines were covered carriages that were towed into deeper water, allowing swimmers to remain concealed from onlookers as they descended a ladder into the water.

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Physical activity for working-class women was often athletics, because it involved no nancial outlay. On public holidays, picnic races were common, and pedestrianism (walking races) was contested for nancial gain. In 1881, the Bulletin journal reported that for a womens tournament, prizes of 50, 25 and 10, as well as a gold locket to the neatest and best-dressed, were offered. Working-class women also competed in boxing for prizes. Girls in government schools were taught drills and callisthenics, which aimed to improve their ability to follow instructions and become compliant workers. For daughters of the socially elite, participation in team games at school was meant to teach the modest qualities required of young women. Dancing was considered an appropriate activity because it was a social skill required for later life. The rise of competitive female sports trespassed on the previously male domain of sport. The media trivialised womens sport by reporting on the fashion and social aspects of the event, rather than on the womens performance and results. Moralists also preached about the evils of women who concentrated on sport instead of devoting themselves to their homes and families.

ACQUIRE
1 Outline how participation in sport in the nineteenth century differed for women and men. 2 Compare the opportunities for nineteenth-century women to participate in sport with the opportunities available to women today.

APPLY AND EVALUATE


1 Set up the class in a carousel formation by making two circles (an inner and an outer circle) of students facing each other. One circle assumes the negative viewpoint and the other circle assumes the positive viewpoint. Begin a debate on the topics below. After one minute, the circles rotate three places in opposite directions, the viewpoints change and the debate continues. a Sporting opportunities for women have not changed in the past century. b Women who play sport neglect their family duties. c Sport is a male domain. 2 a Discuss the barriers that exist to discourage women from participating in sport in todays society. b Propose a variety of strategies to overcome these barriers to participation.

EXTENSION
1 Do some research to answer the following questions about sport in Australia in the nineteenth century. Share your findings with the class. Present it in a format that would be suitable for use as revision or summary notes, such as a mind map or a podcast. a Identify the sports in which women participated. b Explain the purpose of physical activity for women. c Discuss the ways in which sport and physical activity were different for the different social classes, and different for men and women. d Identify the strategies used to discourage women from participating in sport. 2 Create a timeline outlining womens participation in the modern Olympic Games.

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Australias sporting identity


Australians are proud when Australia is identied as a sporting nation. Sport has long been a central feature of Australian cultureso much so that enthusiasm for sport has been widely described as a characteristic of Australians. The Australian public has a culture of recognising and supporting winners. Our achievements in sport have helped shape the value that Australians now place on sport. Australians identify with national sporting successes, including wins in Davis Cup tennis, medals at Commonwealth and Olympic Games, quali cation for World Cup soccer and wins in the Ashes tests. Australia IIs victory in the Americas Cup in 1983 united the nation with a sense of pride; the US team was defeated for the rst time in the events history. Success in such competitions is particularly outstanding as Australias population is considerably lower than many of its competitors. Australia celebrates ongoing success and continues to upgrade and reinforce its international standing by hosting events such as the Olympics in Sydney in 2000 and the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. Australias pride in sporting achievement and sporting identity also explains the priority that Australian governments place on funding and promoting sport. Governments have directed billions of taxpayers dollars to support the place of sport in Australian society. Schools have government-funded compulsory sport and physical activity for all children. Australias sporting identity is closely linked to the cultural level of Figueroas framework. Our social and cultural attitudes and beliefs affect the sports we choose to play. For example, Australias sporting history and culture has led to the high status of sports in which we excel, such as swimming, cricket, Australian rules football and rugby league, while other sports such as orienteering, squash and badminton have been marginalised.

Socialisation
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Has Australians belief that we are a sporting nation increased equity and access to sport and physical activity for all members of our society? To determine the effects of our culture on equity and access, we need to look at how socialisation builds and reinforces cultural barriers to some individuals participating in sport, while encouraging participation by others. Socialisation is the process by which individual beliefs, opinions and values are shaped by society. The factors inuencing socialisation are known as social determinants and can include

Figure 9.5 Australians love winners and identify with the success of sporting heroes.

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family, peers, schools, governments, media, religion, ethnic background, gender, socioeconomic status and age. At the cultural level of Figueroas framework, the main socialising inuences are societys beliefs about gender roles and ethnic identity. These social determinants can inuence whether individuals participate in sport, their choice of sport and their level of achievement.

Gender roles and stereotypes


An individuals gender is determined biologically; however, there is far more to being a male or female than reproductive organs. From birth, boys and girls are treated differently. Girls are dressed in pink, given dolls and soft animals to play with, and are described using words such as soft and delicate. Boys, on the other hand, are dressed in blue, given soldiers and trucks and referred to as strong and alert. Society expects males and females to adopt, believe in, and full specic gender roles and conform to established stereotypes. Stereotypes are oversimplied characterisations of groups of people. Stereotypes are opinions about a persons race, nationality or gender that assume that all people who belong to a particular category or type of person will think and behave in the same way. One example of a stereotype is Americans are loud, fat and obnoxious. Stereotypes are often used to foster discrimination.

Gender stereotypes in sport


Gender stereotypes have long been a contentious issue in sport. Sport requires participants to be competitive, courageous, determined, muscular, powerful and strong. These qualities are largely associated with male gender stereotypes. Men have been expected to show these characteristics to be truly masculine. On the other hand, female gender stereotypes expect women to be quiet, passive and nurturing; these are not qualities ideally suited to sport. Traditionally, women were encouraged to participate in physical activity for the benet of their health only when the activity required minimal exertion, did not prevent them from maintaining their feminine body shape and did not interfere with their motherly duties. Historically, the medical profession reinforced female gender roles by promoting the myth that females had nite physical and mental energy. It was falsely believed that women had only enough energy for daily activities and childbirth, and not for extraneous activities such as sport. Women were commonly described as permanently weak. Doctors discouraged women from participating in strenuous physical activity because it was believed that it would damage their reproductive organs. Although our society no longer accepts these beliefs, some lingering prejudices about women in sport remain. Women who actively participated in sport have often been regarded as masculine and unattractive as their bodies became more muscular and lost their femininity. To be attractive, women were meant to be dainty, graceful and elegant, not active and muscular. Because of these traditional and cultural gender roles, sport has been primarily a male domain with women as supporters. Gender stereotypes and roles are reinforced at all levels of society. For example, experiences during school physical education classeswhich are part of the institutional level of Figueroas frameworkcan contribute to traditional notions of masculinity and femininity. Boys and girls at school are offered different sports. Boys will be offered more vigorous sports such as rugby league and Australian rules football; they are unlikely to be offered netball or dance. Girls choices, on the other hand, are often limited to traditionally female sports or physical activities, such as netball and dance. Both boys and girls have limited access to sport based on their gender. Gender stereotypes and appropriate behaviour can also be reinforced by teachers assuming stereotypical roles: a female physical education teacher might teach dance and a male physical education teacher might teach rugby league.
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The cultural inuence of socialisation also has ow-on effects in the individual level of Figueroas framework. Because of the socialisation process and desire to t in, both males and females are more likely to choose activities that are seen to be appropriate for their gender. As attitudes to gender roles and stereotypes change, there has been an increase in the variety of sports offered to girls and boys that would previously have been reserved for the opposite sex. It is becoming more common, for example, for girls to participate in rugby league and Australian rules football and for boys to play netball.
Does your school offer you an opportunity to play sports that have traditionally been considered appropriate for the opposite sex? If so, why have you or have you not taken up the opportunity?

Gender stereotypes are unlikely to disappear completely, but challenging the notions of what it means to be masculine and feminine allows a new set of less restrictive stereotypes and roles to emerge. This will allow both boys and girls greater access to sports that have previously been seen as off limits. It is important to remember that gender stereotypesin all aspects of society, including sporthave been Figure 9.6 Playing sports traditionally reserved for the formed over many centuries. The process opposite sex challenges the notions of gender stereotyping. of changing gender stereotypes and roles has begun only relatively recently. Even in todays more equal society, many of the lingering assumptions about how men and women should behave still restrict the types of activities that are acceptable for men and form barriers to womens participation in sport. Men who participate in sports that require more feminine qualities, such as gracefulness or the ability to express emotions, are subjected to scrutiny and criticism. Men who do not uphold societys ideals of masculinity in sport have also been marginalised. For example, this is evident in the sport of dancing. Dancing is an athletic and powerful sport that requires incredible physical tness. Within Australian culture, however, men who dance can be labelled sissy, wussy or gay. Boys and young men are dissuaded from taking up the sport for fear of being considered feminine or homosexual.

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Case study
Ballet, me and the world I started dancing at the age of thirteen. It was not a personal choice, but a decision made on my behalf by my mother because I had shown some talent at playing the drums and a young man (who had made a commercial and was thus considered to be an expert in the eld of the arts) said, If you want to make it in show business, you need to be able to sing and dance. Strangely, I found that I could do ballet really well. I was not only able to do the steps required, but I could also remember them. This meant that I was the recipient of praise from my dance teacher. For once in my life, I was able to be good at something. I had found my calling. Unfortunately, also at this stage of my life, students at my school had found out about my hitherto unknown ability. I had started dancing at the age of thirteengrade eight. By grade nine, I was found out. A ballet dancer?! What the hell was ballet, and why is it in a language we dont understand? So, who suffered because of my now well-known ability? Me. Then my friends and familythe people who mattered most to me. For over a year I was the guy who was bashed on the oval. I would go to the teachers on parade ground duty, and they would say between sips of coffee, Well? You do ballet, Weatherby. What do you expect? I would go to the principal and he would say, You have a few options, Shane. Honestly? I suggest leaving school. This is not a career option the school can help you with. I would then go to the only people I thought could help, my brothers, only to nd out that they were getting picked on too because of me.

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Figure 9.7

Ballet dancers are some of the fittest athletes in the world.

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Ballet, me and the world (cont )


Faggot: a bunch of sticks tied together, but to the typical guy on the oval, obviously a guy who likes guys. Poofter: same again (but without the sticks). Gay: once meant to mean happy and carefree, now same as above.

I can keep going. Anyone reading this could add a dozen more terms. It doesnt take intelligence, simply ignorance. My choice is to let you decide. My father said to me, You can ght back, Shane, or not. Its your choice. I am not worried that you like to dance. Once you hit someone though, you cant take it back. It all turned sour when my mind spoke before logic could save me. It was a typical sunny daylunch time (to set the scene). I was the target of more than ten boys near B block. Several boys had pushed me too far and were calling me every homosexual word their small minds coiuld think of. They were very good rugby league players so I said, I dance with really cute girls. Theres only one of me and twelve girls, and they all like me! You chase after other guys, with other guys, grabbing at hairy legs trying to grab a little ball! Whos probably more gay?! Thats when the ght started. Unfortunately for everyone, including me, I had no idea of how strong the dance training had made me. Somehow, I picked up and threw a few guys through a door and hurt a few more. I was very angry and upset, and anger and adrenaline was certainly fuelling my body. I had never before known how strong I was. Later, in my dancing career, this strength was a singular skill and ability that helped me to become a principal dancer and create moves that deed most other professional dancers. Then and there, it only helped me to be expelled the very next day from high school. Grade ten. No senior certicate. In retrospect, I wish I could have been smarter and found a way to overcome my anger, avoid the pain I caused the ve boys I hurt, and be a better person. But that is what happened. As dad had said, You cant take it back. From then I worked at a shopping centre, shelving stock. I also worked as a milk boy. I paid my way through dancing. Then, at fteen, I received a scholarship to the Queensland Dance School. I joined the Queensland Ballet Company in 1987 as a dancer in training, and by 1991 I was the youngest principal dancer in Australia. In 1991 I was awarded the Young Queenslander of the Year award in the Arts. I have travelled quite a lot of the world and done it doing a career that offers only pain, truth and the need to be honest with yourself. I trained from 7.30 am to 6 pm six days a week, and I loved every moment.
ShaneW eatherby

EXTENSION
1 Read the case study Ballet, me and the world. The events that Shane Weatherby experienced in high school happened in 1983. Would he receive the same treatment if he were at school today? Do the stereotypical views about dance and dancers still exist? 2 Consider Jason Akermaniss advice to gay players in the AFL in 2010 to stay in the closet. Why did Akermanis make these statements? Should players stay in the closet?
Click for more information on the stay in the closet controversy in AFL.

inside activity?

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Figure 9.8 Some female athletes emphasise their feminine qualities with hair, make-up and fashionable outfits.

Figure 9.9 Female athletes who possess the skills of power, strength and speed can be seen as unladylike because of gender stereotypes.

Although a stigma is attached to some types of sports participation for men, as men have far more opportunities to participate in sport without being subjected to stereotyping, studies on this topic focus primarily on women. Women participating in most sports require aggression, strength and muscular physiquestraditionally masculine characteristics. Women who play sport and show masculine traits often have their sexuality questioned; they can be labelled as butch or lesbians. The lesbian stereotype exerts pressure on athletes to demonstrate their femininity and heterosexuality. Societys perception of gender norms is that men should be more muscular and powerful and that women be smaller, weaker and beautiful. The perceived unattractiveness of muscular women can deter heterosexual female athletes from continuing in some sports and cause them to question their body image. Some female athletes attempt to display their femininity through the use of make-up, pretty hair, and uniforms. Some people may think that men who nd big, muscular women attractive could be gay because they are attracted to a trait that is typically masculine. To enable men to continue to nd sportswomen attractive without their manhood being questioned, athletic women will often be portrayed in the media using photos that show feminine, passive poses, and accompanying stories and captions that reinforce their femininity.
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APPLY AND EVALUATE


1 Explain why it is difficult to identify one level of Figueroas framework that is responsible for societys construction of gender stereotypes and roles. 2 a Brainstorm ways that each of the following could act to reduce the effects of genderrole socialisation and overcome gender barriers in sport.

parents peers schools media.

b Who or what has the greatest potential to overcome gender barriers? Justify why. 3 Only cultural change will see the removal of barriers caused by stereotypical views. Do you agree or disagree? Justify your position. 4 What cultural beliefs would need to change so that dancing could become a more socially acceptable sport for men? 5 a What effect does the success of television programs such as So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars have on the cultural stereotyping of dancers? b How has featuring typically masculine mensuch as professional Australian rules football and rugby league stars, and televisions home-renovation tradesmenon Dancing with the Stars changed societys views about men who dance? 6 Are some types of dance more socially acceptable for males? What are they? Justify why. 7 Consider dancing classes you have taken at school. a Did you:

offer token resistance (that is, pretend a lack of interest while secretly enjoying the experience)? think it was a great way to meet and get close to your peers? hate every minute because you think you cannot dance well? put up with the single line dancing (such as to Nutbush) because you were on your own? enjoy having an activity that was not competitive? like the idea that dancing allowed more creativity?

b Would your responses have been the same in primary school? If not, what socialisation processes occurred between primary school and high school? 8 Australian dance will always struggle to enlist male participants based on the dominance of more rugged sports. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Justify your response in 400 words or less, referring to relevant levels of Figueroas framework. 9 Female dancers are incredibly athletic but are still also seen as incredibly feminine. Why do they not suffer the social stigma of being called butch or lesbian that some other female athletes do?

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Hegemonic masculinity
Before we discuss hegemonic masculinity, it is important to understand the meaning of the terms hegemonic and hegemony. Simply put, hegemonic means ruling, and hegemony means leadership. Our societyboth inside and outside the sporting arenahas traditionally been one of hegemonic masculinity. In other words, men have held the power and authority to inuence society and Figure 9.10 Womens sports, including netball, receive less set the rules that govern behaviour, media coverage and less funding than mens sports. including the behaviour of women. Stereotypically masculine qualities of competitiveness, courage, determination, power and aggression have been seen as those to aspire to and necessary to gain respect in our society. Hegemony is often studied and discussed when discussing how one group maintains its authority over another; for example, how a ruling class maintains power. The group in power uses a variety of tactics to keep their authority, including manipulating social attitudes to encourage those without authority that the current order is the natural and best way. In our history and culture, gender roles in everyday life have reinforced male power in society. For example, women were educated differently; they were discouraged from working outside the home and becoming nancially independent; and until 1896, they were not allowed to vote. Sport is another area of our society that has been dominated by men. Sport reinforces hegemonic masculinity by celebrating stereotypically masculine activities and attributes, and restricting the behaviour of women. Women have been ghting for equality, and we have certainly seen improvements, but the subordinate role of women in sport continues to be reinforced by practices such as: giving womens activities less government funding than mens providing less media coverage for womens sports than for mens offering less prize money for womens sports than for mens identifying womens competition by their gender to differentiate them from the mens (for example, WNBL and NBL) restricting womens membership of sporting clubs and associations, such as golf clubs.

Hegemonic masculinity has been reinforced at all levels of Figueroas framework. For example, at the institutional level, individual sporting institutions have set rules and regulations restricting womens participation. Men maintain control through their positions of power within the organisations that make the rules. It is common, for example, for the chief executive ofcers of sporting associations to be male. Today, the most visible tool used to maintain hegemonic masculinity in sport is the media. Media coverage of sport continues to reinforce gender stereotypes and marginalise women and their sporting activities. For example, television stations and newspapers have limited coverage of womens sport. Media coverage targets a mostly male audience. When female athletes are featured, they are treated differently: they are often sexualised and their achievements are trivialised. Women athletes sometimes feel they need to resort to sexploitationpromoting their sports through sexy calendars and underwear sponsorshipsto gain a portion of market share.
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Bringing about change


Although women have come a long way in their bid for fair recognition in sport, restrictions on womens participation in sport still exist. For cultural change to occur, historical barriers and assumptions need to be breached. In 1999, the Australian Sports Commission prepared a document with the title National Policy on Women and Girls in Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity 19992002. The document outlined the governments policy to change the culture so that women and girls would be encouraged and supported in all sports and physical activities.

The policy document advocated removing participation barriers and developing greater opportunities for women to participate in sport. Its recommendations included having more women in policy-making positions in sporting and media organisations, and using media promotion of inuential role models to increase opportunities for women. Furthermore, a government committee was formed to redistribute funding and resources.

Figure 9.11 It is hoped that an increase in womens participation in sport at a grassroots level will have a knock-on effect.

It is hoped that an increase in womens participation in sport at a grassroots level will have a knock-on effect, and open more doors for women to move into positions of power. It is also hoped that increased government funding will improve community facilities and womens sporting options in the community. With greater access, more opportunities and better support, it is hoped that more women and girls will appreciate the role that physical activity can play in their lives. Although changes are taking place in government (structural level), and the media (institutional level) has begun to gradually alter its portrayal of women during the last ten years, hegemonic masculinity is still evident, and the portrayal of female sport through the media is still inequitable. Changes to the cultural perception of sport in Australia will dictate the rate of change. The process of social change will be slow, however, as changing the long-held cultural beliefs and attitudes of more than 22 million Australians will take time. Click to read more articles about women in sport.

EXTENSION
Read the article Call for Funding Link to Equality on page xx. In small groups, discuss the following questions. 1 Why are women under-represented in positions of authority in sport and business? 2 How do you think having more women in positions of influence in sporting organisations would influence womens participation in sport?
Click for information on Australias Olymic history.

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NEWS Call for funding link to equality


Taxpayer funding of national sporting bodies should be linked to increasing the representation of women on their boards, according to Elizabeth Broderick, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner. Broderick, who will speak at an international conference on women in sport that starts in Sydney today, argues the failure of sporting organisations to have adequate numbers of women at the top means they miss out on female participation at the grassroots level because the stereotype of women as sporting inferiors gets perpetuated. You cant be what you cant see, Broderick said. Young women need to be able to see sportswomen at every level of amateur and elite sportsfrom the best and fairest and most valuable player, right through to sport management and governance. [Sports] bodies are failing to use the expertise and experience of more than half of the population. She believes the lack of women in the senior levels of sports administration also exacerbates the problems that have been seen in the attitudes some sportsmen have towards women. The four-day event is the fth conference of the International Working Group on Women and Sport, and its chairwoman is Johanna Adriaanse, who lectures in human movement and sports management at Sydneys University of Technology. Increasing the number of women in sport governance is critical for advancing womens sport because it is at this level that important decisions are made for hundreds of thousands of physically active Australians and those that want to be active, Adriaanse says on the conferences website. National sports bodies receive signicant funding from the public purse, and while women make up more than half of the population they continue to be underrepresented on sports boards. Adriaanse says only 21 per cent of the board members of national sporting organisations funded by the Australian Sports Commission are women, and

Figure 9.12 Although only 21 per cent of the board members of national sporting organisations funded by the Australian Sports Commission are women, outside of sport the figures are even worsein all business across Australia, women account for less than 9 per cent of board directors.

little progress has been made over the past decade in advancing gender diversity on sporting boards. Only two of the 15 members of the executive board of the Australian Olympic Committee are women despite an IOC recommendation of 1997 that national Olympic committees achieve a 20 per cent target for womens representation by the end of 2005. Olympic sports receive the vast majority of federal sports funding. Mike Tancred, a spokesman for the AOC, said the organisation was acutely aware of the need to increase female representation on its board and on the boards and among the senior management of its member sports. At the AOCs executive board meeting last week, president John Coates demanded sports get their act together and get more women in senior positions. Broderick also called on the federal government to be transparent and show how much sports funding went to males and how much to females.
Source: Daniel Lewis, The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 May 2010

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PRACTICAL
Hegemonic masculinity Organise a game of touch football with mixed teams of boys and girls. 1 For each gender, collect data on factors such as:

the total ball time who plays in which position selection order. Were there any surprises? Which gender dominated the games? Were there any exceptions? What enabled them to overcome gender barriers?

2 Discuss the results. Compare assumed outcomes with the actual data.

3 Use your findings to predict possible outcomes for a game of netball, volleyball or soccer.

Discuss the similarities and differences. What changes could be made to allow equal involvement of everyone in the class?

APPLY AND EVALUATE


1 As a class, discuss how the cultural level of Figueroas framework affected sports participation in your physical education class. 2 Develop a set of guidelines to remove some of the barriers to participation. You may like to consider aspects such as:

the games rules the method of team selection who is in positions of authority and team leadership roles, such as coach, referee, selector, manager and trainer.

EXTENSION
1 Do some research into Australias Olympic history. Before you begin your research, use your general knowledge to guess the answers to the following questions. Then, compare your guesses with your research. a List five gold medal winners (individual and team). b List Australias top five most successful Olympic medal winnersthe individuals and teams who have won the most medals. c For each of the following eras, which gender had greater success?

18961936 19481976 1980present

Were you surprised by any of your findings? 2 Which gender has had the greater Olympic success? Why?

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Ethnic identity
In earlier sections, we looked at how Australias sporting culture has been strongly inuenced by the countrys British and colonial heritage. However, Australia is an incredibly multicultural society. Our sporting culture has been inuenced by Indigenous Australians and by the many migrants that have come to Australia from all parts of the world. Click for more information on the influences that different ethnic groups have on Australias sporting culture.

Australias Indigenous sporting culture


We now take a particular look at the Australian Indigenous culture, investigating Indigenous sporting history and the way in which sport helps to promote Indigenous identity.

Indigenous sporting history


Before European colonisation, Indigenous Australians participated in a variety of games, dances and physical activities that mirrored their daily activities of hunting and shing, and their afliation with the land. Physical activities often included elements of play and rehearsed skills that were needed in everyday life. Games included throwing spears and boomerangs at targets, and movement activities, such as running, jumping and climbing. Elders organised competitions to test these skills, such as tree-climbing races and throwing spears for distance. Physical skills were essential for the peoples survival and, as such, were highly valued and encouraged. Tracking was another necessary skill learned by all children, and games centred on identifying the correct track or noise. As a means of solving intertribal disputes, wrestling competitions were organised. Young boys participated in practice ghts to improve their wrestling skills. Dance was both a form of entertainment and a teaching tool. It played a major part in the initiation of young boys, and tribal corroborees were performed to celebrate good fortune through dance, music and song. Dancers replicated the movements of people and animals to tell stories, both of the past and of daily activities.
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Figure 9.13 Sport and physical activity has always been a part of Indigenous Australian culture.
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Games involving catching, throwing and kicking using various types of balls were played. Balls were constructed of materials such as possum hair, kangaroo intestine, beeswax and seeds. Games were informal, often lasting many hours or days, with few rules and no need for umpires or referees. Both males and females played these games, which promoted interaction between tribal members and encouraged participation. Indigenous Australians living close to lakes or beaches took part in water activities, such as shing, canoeing and swimming. Indigenous Australian children were encouraged to learn to swim from an early age. Indigenous Australian games and activities were closely linked to teaching survival skills and respect for tribal elders. The major focus of organised games was enjoyment rather than a result, and Indigenous Australians developed pastimes that demonstrated clear links with their family, tribe and land. Click for more information about traditional Indigenous Australian games that you can try.

Figure 9.14 Adam Goodes is a role model for young athletes.

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Sport and Indigenous cultural identity


In 1962 a sporting event for Indigenous Australians was created: the Yuendumu Games. The Yuendumu Games are a mixture of cultural events and sports, providing remote Indigenous Australian communities with the opportunity to participate in contests such as boomerang throwing and Australian rules football. These games reect the cultural identity of participants, and assist in unifying communities. Boxing has provided an avenue for a number of Aboriginal men to nd fame. One notable Indigenous Australian boxer is Lionel Rose, who became World Bantamweight Champion in 1968. In the same year, Rose was awarded the honour of Australian of the Year, becoming the rst Indigenous Australian to receive this award.

Figure 9.15 Cathy Freeman draped herself in the Aboriginal flag after winning the 400metres.

Australian rules football is very important to Indigenous Australians and their communities. The successes of teams in the regional competition and having local boys targeted by AFL teams assist in bonding local communities and establishing an identity for Indigenous Australians and their regions. Players such as dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes and premiership player Michael OLoughlin from the Sydney Swans are seen as positive role models for young Indigenous children. The AFL recognises the signicant contribution of Indigenous athletes to its sport, and since 2002 it has commemorated their contributions with the annual Marn Grook Trophy game between the Sydney Swans and Essendon Bombers. Marn Grook was a game played by Indigenous Australians in western Victoria that is believed to have inspired Australian rules football. Indigenous Australian track and eld athletes include Kyle van der Kuyp, Nova Peris-Kneebone, Cathy Freeman, Patrick Johnson and Joshua Ross. These athletes have been positive sporting role models for

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Indigenous Australian communities. At the 1994 Commonwealth Games and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Cathy Freeman draped herself in the Aboriginal ag after winning the 400 metres. This demonstrated her identication with her community and culture. Her Aboriginal heritage is an important aspect of her identity, and her achievements in sport have assisted in establishing an identity for Indigenous Australian people. The Australian Sports Commission, through its Indigenous Sport Program, is aiming to improve the participation rates of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in sport and recreation. The focus of this program is on community development.

EXTENSION
Read the article All Stars Instigator Within Sight of Proudest Moment and answer the following questions. 1 Predict the effects this event will have on young Indigenous Australians and their involvement in sport. 2 Will sporting events that recognise and embrace a culture increase sporting opportunities for more people?

NEWS All Stars instigator within sight of proudest moment


Preston Campbell came up with the All Stars concept in the hope it would encourage Indigenous Australians to learn more about their identity. What he didnt expect was to discover so much about his own. Ill be honest and say I didnt know anything about my [Aboriginal] background, Campbell told The Sun-Herald. Its great to catch up and learn what tribe youre from, know what areas your family come from. I always thought I came from the Kamilaroi tribe from the north-west of NSW. Actually, the clanthe nation that I come fromis a big area with tribes within it. I always thought I was the Kamilaroi clan but Im actually from the Nucoorilma tribe from within that nation.
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Thats something I was happy to nd out. Titans teammate Scott Prince is another learning about his heritage. A lot of blokes dont know where they come from, Campbell

continued. Youve got Princey, who knows hes from Mt Isa, but hes actually from the same tribe as [former Panther] Sid Domic, the designer of our jerseys. It was pretty interesting to know that. Hes excited about

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Figure 9.16 Proud ... Preston Campbell believes leading the Indigenous All Stars on Friday will be the high point of a glittering career.

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All Stars instigator within sight of proudest moment (cont )

knowing a bit more about his background. It is appropriate that Campbell will captain the Indigenous All Stars in next weekends inaugural clash against the NRL All Stars on the Gold Coast. The concept was Campbells brainchild and, with a bit of help from Gold Coast CEO Michael Searle, his dream is about to become a reality. Campbell has won a premiership and a Dally M medal but has no doubt that next weekends xture will be his career highlight. The pint-sized playmaker is less sure about how hell cope with the emotion of representing his people when he leads his side onto Skilled Park. Will he shed a tear? If I shed a tear, I wont be angry at myself, Campbell said. I wont think any less of myself. I wont think less of my teammates. If they shed a tear, its good. It just shows its from the heart that they are passionate about playing for their people. Some of Campbells All Stars teammates have called for an Indigenous side to be represented at the next World Cup. However, Campbell didnt want the likes of Greg Inglis, Johnathan Thurston and Sam Thaiday to be torn between representing their country and their people. It would be great but I dont see it happening, Campbell said.

The superstars in our team are very highly respected. Youve got a few of those players that are Indigenous and it would be hard to take them out of the Australian team. I dont think wed want to see the people in the Australian team lose some of those superstars. The Skilled Park clash is a sellout. More than 30 of those seats will be taken up by Campbells extended family. This has got some more signicance for myself; Im feeling like Im playing for a bit more than two points, he said. Im pretty much playing for my family so its pretty important. There will be all of my immediate family and a few cousins there. I havent really sat down to take it all in and its only a week away. This is the rst time anything like this has ever happened. Its coming around so quick, I dont know what to think or feel. I just know Im excited. The match has created unprecedented interest from footy fans, who helped to assemble the NRL All Stars side. The game will also double as the farewell for cult hero Wendell Sailor, while NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett has agreed to be wired for sound. The Indigenous sides preparations were disrupted by the loss of Golden Boot holder Inglis (injured hip) on Friday.

South Sydneys Beau Champion and the Titans Greg Bird have been rushed into the squad. For Cronulla forward Anthony Tupou, his selection in the NRL team is signicant for other reasons. The former NSW and Australian back-rower hopes his selection will be a springboard back into the representative arena. It makes me feel pretty good after missing out on those teams last yearit was a bad year for me in terms of rep footy, he said. When you have something and you dont have it, you miss it so much more. Campbell said he was condent the All Stars game would be a permanent xture in the calendar. People are excited about this. Weve had the cricket, the tennis, all the sports, but people are itching to watch football now. This being the rst game of the rugby league calendar, being televised, its great, he said. Its going to hang around for a while hopefully. If youve got the calibre of players in this game available for every game, youll get plenty of interest. Asked for his nal words before the game, the 32-year-old replied: I havent really thought about it. I just hope they really enjoy themselves.
Source: Adrian Proszenko, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 February 2010

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Multicultural influences
Almost one-quarter of Australians were born overseas, and more than 40 per cent of Australians have at least one parent who was born overseas. Approximately 16 per cent of Australians speak a language other than English at home. Sport and physical activity can be an extremely effective vehicle to break down cultural barriers and strengthen community multiculturalism. Physical activity can provide an excellent way for new migrants to build friendships and assimilate more easily into new communities.
Figure 9.17 Sport and physical activity can be an effective way to break down cultural barriers.

Cultural groups within the community organise activities that enable people to meet other members of their culture. They also provide people with the opportunity to participate in activities that are traditional or popular in their country of origin. Examples of such activities are cultural dance (such as amenco), bocce, table tennis and badminton. Migrants have introduced activities such as tai chi and yoga that have helped Australians gain an insight into other cultures. They have also contributed signicantly to the prole of sports such as diving and gymnastics. Sporting success by people of a particular ethnic background can foster pride in that ethnic community and culture. Australians from different cultural backgrounds choose to participate in different sports and have different attitudes and beliefs about sports and physical activities. Cultural stereotypes based on ethnic background can either promote participation in particular sports and physical activities or reinforce barriers that prevent participation.

APPLY AND EVALUATE


1 How might local governments provide community sporting facilities to promote multiculturalism and assimilation through physical activity? 2 Suggest examples of barriers to sports participation that a new migrant from a nonEnglish-speaking background might face. 3 The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that people born in Australia had a higher sports attendance rate (50%) than people born overseas in mainly English-speaking countries (42%) and people born overseas in non-English-speaking countries (21%). Suggest reasons for these differences.

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The world game


It is impossible to discuss multiculturalism and sport in Australia without looking at soccer. Dance is not the only sport where stereotyping has generated cultural barriers to sports participation in Australia. Johnny Warren, one of Australias greatest soccer players, named his autobiography Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters: An Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren and Soccer in Australia. In his book, he looked at how soccer had once been marginalised and stigmatised as a sport that only sheilas, wogs and poofters played. Over the decades attitudes to soccer have progressed, yet it still does not receive the support or recognition that other football codes such as Australian rules football and rugby league receive. In recent years, Australia has fallen in love with the world game. In 2006 and 2010, Australia rejoiced as a nation when the Socceroos won their way to the World Cup. In 2006, spectator numbers supporting the Socceroos were similar to televised AFL and State of Origin matches. The Australian public howled in protest over the disgraceful theatrics and injustice that resulted in Australias loss to Italy in 2006.

Figure 9.18 Professional soccer still does not receive the level of support or recognition that other football codes do.

The Australian Soccer Federation has put great effort and millions of dollars into securing sponsorships and overseas players to develop a quality national league within Australia, yet attendance gures remain signicantly lower than the other football codes. In 200506 the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that while 16 per cent of Australians attended one AFL match during the year, only 4 per cent went to a soccer game. At the same time, soccer has the highest participation rates for boys aged 514 years. Soccers popularity as a participation sport in Australia owes much to the dedication of the migrant communities who came to Australia during the 1950s and 1960s.
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APPLY AND EVALUATE


1 Suggest reasons why soccer has the highest participation rates for boys aged 514 years. 2 Why, when so many young people play soccer, is it not a dominant professional sport in Australia? a List (in order of importance) social and cultural factors that explain why soccer does not have the audience and fan support of other sports. b Link each factor listed to its appropriate level in Figueroas framework. Which level has created the dominant barrier(s)? Why?

Figure 9.19

Soccar is a very popular sport with young people.

Table 9.1Number and percentage of people aged 514 years and main sportsparticipated in by sex

Males
Main sports participated in Swimming Football (outdoor soccer) Netball Australian rules football Tennis Basketball Gymnastics Rugby l eague Athletics (track and field) Futsal (indoor soccer) Hockey Other Number 240 100 277 800 3500 223 700 131 600 118 700 23 700 97 200 42 400 59 400 25 600 221 200 % 17.20 19.90 .03 16.00 8.00 7.40 1.70 7.00 3.00 4.30 1.80 15.80 47 000 17 500 31 800 160 900 Number 262 800 82 700 225 0 00 11 400 83 200 83 200 101 200

Females
% 19.8 6.2 17.0 .9 6.3 6.3 7.6

3.5 1.3 2.4 12.1

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009

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09: SUMMARY
Australians attitudes to sport have been inuenced by the historical development of sport in European and Indigenous culture. Historical barriers to womens participation in sport have included: beliefs that excessive exertion was bad for womens health womens clothing and the need to conceal their bodies standards of ladylike behaviour. club membership rules. 4

NOW THAT YOU HAVE FINISHED ...


1 2 3 Explain why Australia has been identied and identies itself as a sporting nation. Describe how sport has been used to help establish Australian pride. Outline the types of sports that were deemed suitable for women during the late nineteenth century and explain why womens sporting choices were limited. a b 5 a Dene socialisation. List the factors that inuence the socialisation process. List qualities that are associated with stereotypically male and female gender roles in Australian society. Explain how these gender roles and stereotypes are reinforced, using at least one example from each of the ve levels of Figueroas framework. Briey describe how societys perceptions of gender affect individuals sporting and physical activity choices. Dene hegemonic masculinity. Briey explain how the cultural, structural and institutional levels of Figueroas framework reinforce hegemonic masculinity in Australian sport.

Sport has long been a central feature of Australian cultureso much so that enthusiasm for sport is often described as a characteristic of being Australian. Socialisation is the process through which individuals beliefs and values are shaped by society. The factors inuencing socialisation can include family, peers, schools, governments, media, religion, ethnic background, gender, socioeconomic status and age. Socialisation inuences and reinforces attitudes about gender roles and stereotypes, and shapes what it means to be male and female in Australian society Hegemony is the dominance of one social group over another. In sport, hegemonic masculinity refers to the dominance of masculine (male) sporting culture. The cultural inuence of hegemonic masculinity is reinforced through socialisation at all levels of Figueroas framework. Sport and physical activity can be an avenue for communities to embrace multiculturalism. Cultural stereotypes based on ethnic background can either promote participation in particular sports and physical activities or reinforce barriers that prevent participation.

a b

7 8

Explain the link between sport and the promotion of Indigenous Australians identity. How are elite athletes able to use their status as role models to promote discussion and change attitudes about culturally entrenched stereotypes within Australian society? Is such change possible? Justify your response.

09: Summary

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