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Constructing successful old-age masculinities amongst athletes
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2011 (English)In: Norma, ISSN 1890-2138, Vol. 6, no 1, 46-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on the issue of old-age masculinities by exploring if and howthe process of growing old affects the gendered self-images of Swedish old maleathletes. It follows the grounded theory research design of Kathy Charmaz and isbased on interviews with nine athletes aged 68 to 90. The findings in this articleindicate that the athletes withdraw from the masculine practice of competitivesports because it is not considered to be age-appropriate. The men seem toreconstruct their self-images in accordance with four old-age masculinity themes:being physically active, being a leader, being a busy senior, and being a family man.The concept of successful aging is found to be particularly significant in reshapingthe men’s self-images. Therefore, this article proposes a combination of theconcepts of hegemonic masculinity1 and successful aging in order to increase theunderstanding of old-age masculinities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2011. Vol. 6, no 1, 46-58 p.
Keyword [en]
Old athletes, successful aging, old-age masculinities
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-47576OAI: diva2:443133
Welfare and Work in an Ageing Society
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2011-09-29 Created: 2011-09-23 Last updated: 2012-04-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Growing old and still practising competitive sports: An exploration of acting-space and sense-making processes among old women and men
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Growing old and still practising competitive sports: An exploration of acting-space and sense-making processes among old women and men
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis explores how the way athletically active old men and women make sense of their acting-space affects their participation in competitive sports and conversely how their participation in competitive sports affect their sense-making process and acting-space. It puts emphasis on the sociological point of intersection of three different research fields; sports science, critical gerontology and gender studies. Concretely, it is inspired by grounded theory research design and based on interviews with twenty-two athletically active men and women over the age of 65. The thesis consists of four articles, and together these show that men and women experience certain constraints of acting-space in the context of competitive sports, which primarily seem to be related to norms of age and gender. At the same time, the thesis shows that by practising sports old adults, especially old women, are able to transgress these constraints and possibly challenge dominant constructions of age and gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2012. 42 p.
, Akademiska avhandlingar vid sociologiska institutionen, Umeå Universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; A68
aging, sports, gender, acting-space, sense making, old athletes, the process of growing old
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-54034 (URN)978-91-7459-401-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-05-04, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Hörsal 1031, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2012-04-13 Created: 2012-04-12 Last updated: 2012-11-16Bibliographically approved

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