Mediated consumer masculinities. Soft and affected bodies. In the football world cup of 2002

Por: Gerd Lippe e Von Der.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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This paper is part of the project "Tabloidization of sports and culture in the Norwegian paper press from the 1930s until today", which is funded by the Norwegian Research Body.

The stereotype of a mediated footballer is that of a potent, hard and tough young man.

The public sphere has to a certain extent turned into a room of desire (Kolnar, 2003). Signs of gender and sexuality seem to be much more fluid, unstable and ambivalent than earlier, with barriers between masculinities and femininities woven into new constellations (Müleisen, 2002). Soft and affected men as part of their identity formation are depicted as signs of "a consumer masculinity" in contrast to that of "a production masculinity" (Kolnar, 2003).

Texts (texts and pictures) of two tabloid national papers are analysed in a qualitative manner; VG (conservative and the most popular one in the country) and Dagbladet (liberal and the second most popular tabloid paper). In addition sports journalists in different positions in the newspapers are interviewed using the qualitative method.

The mains questions are as follows:

  • In what way are footballers mediated as soft and affected in the world cup of 2002?
  • Is this a new phenomenon in comparison to the mediation of the world cups of the 1970s and 1980s?

With point of departure of the perspectives of masculinities of Connell, 1995, Kolnar, 2003 and Mühleisen, 2002, the paper discusses the mediation of crying bodies (e.g. the English goalkeeper, David Seaman`s reaction after his blunder in the loss against Brazil (1-2) and affected bodies (e.g. David Beckham and Umit Dalava (Turkey)). Relevant here is a discussion about which mediated football practices are woven into new constellations of a consumer masculinity.


  • Connell, R.W.D.,(1995). Masculinities. Cambridge & Oxford, Polity Press.
  • Kolnar, K. (2003). Det ambisiøse selv. Trondheim, NTNU.
  • Mühleisen, W. (2002) Kjønn i uorden. Oslo, Universitetet i Oslo.



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