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Fishing for Masculinity: Recreational Fishermen's Performances of Gender
Adkins, Timothy Joel

2010, MA, Kent State University, College of Arts and Sciences / Department of Sociology.
Against the tide of continuing deindustrialization and the decline of the male “breadwinner,” how do men in the Midwest continue to construct masculine identities? This study aims to address this question by examining the masculine social context of recreational fishing in Ohio. Recreational fishing is a widely- popular activity for men and an important contributor to our local and state economies. Using qualitative, ethnographic methods of in-depth interviews and participant observation, I find that fishing is a unique non-work context in which men reconstruct and negotiate their masculinity. Previous research on masculinity confirms that men are increasingly drawing upon their recreational or other unpaid activities in order to feel like and to be seen as men/masculine. Through fishing, men can participate in a masculine environment that is not exclusive by age, class, employment, or ability. Men who fish demonstrate their masculine selves through controlling nature, eliciting deference from others, and by feeling efficacious in pursuing and catching fish. This study contributes to our understanding of masculinity by examining a understudied context that includes a wider variety of men than traditional studies of athletic team sports. It shows how men's non-work activities can serve as cultural shock absorbers in times of gender crisis. It debunks the myth of fishing as a solitary act and sheds light on how men use nature and animals (i.e. fish) for their own masculinity projects.
Clare L. Stacey, PhD (Committee Chair)
Joanna Dreby, PhD (Committee Member)
C. Andre Christie-Mizell, PhD (Committee Member)
67 p.

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Adkins, T. (2010). Fishing for Masculinity: Recreational Fishermen's Performances of Gender. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Adkins, Timothy. "Fishing for Masculinity: Recreational Fishermen's Performances of Gender." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Kent State University, 2010. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 27 Mar 2015.

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Adkins, Timothy "Fishing for Masculinity: Recreational Fishermen's Performances of Gender." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Kent State University, 2010. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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