Death and football : an analysis of men's talk about emotions

Walton, Chris, Coyle, Adrian and Lyons, Evanthia (2004) Death and football : an analysis of men's talk about emotions. British Journal of Social Psychology, 43(3), 401 - 416. ISSN (print) 0144-6665


This study is concerned with men's talk about emotions and with how emotion discourses function in the construction and negotiation of masculine ways of doing emotions and of consonant masculine subject positions. A sample group of 16 men, who were recruited from two social contexts in England, participated in focus groups on 'men and emotions'. Group discussions were transcribed and analysed using discourse analysis. Participants drew upon a range of discursive resources in constructing masculine emotional behaviour and negotiating masculine subject positions. They constructed men as emotional beings, but only within specific, rule-governed contexts, and cited death, a football match and a nightclub scenario as prototypical contexts for the permissible/understandable expression of grief, joy and anger, respectively. However, in the nightclub scenario, the men distanced themselves from the expression of anger as violence, whilst maintaining a masculine subject position. These discursive practices are discussed in terms of the possibilities for effecting change in men's emotional lives.

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