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Abstracts, NORMA 5.1

The meaning of sport for male relations in health care

Per Ekstrand & Esa Kumpula

The aim of this article is to problematize how sport can be an arena to enable and develop male relations in health care. We discuss how intimacy and touch can be related to these processes and how male bodies are involved in creation of the constructions of masculinities in health care. The area is relatively unexplored. Previous research in this field has focused on different aspects of sport, such as violence, aggression, hegemonic masculinity and power. Our theoretical points of departure are based on social constructive perspectives. The empirical data is based on interviews with male nurses in different settings in health care. We argue that sports fulfill an important aspect to »build bridges» in creation of male relations in health care. Despite men’s different background and position, generally, men have positive experiences from sport activities. In an effort to create good relations between men in health care these experiences are important for caregivers and patients to relate to. Sport as a physical, social and conversational action could support patients to retrieve good health. We found that men gave the body a central meaning in describing their practical work and how it was expressed through sport activities. Men’s physical strength is central to uphold male identities in health care, for example to prevent threats and violence.

male nurses, sport, male bodies, intimacy, relations, health care, masculinities

NORMA: Nordic Journal for Masculinity Studies 5(1), 60-73.


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