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"I Don’t Want Them to Know I’m Hurt”: Rugby League, Popular Mythology and Working Class Masculinity

Date:
Wednesday 01 November 2017

Dr Charles Little, I Don’t Want Them to Know I’m Hurt”: Rugby League, Popular Mythology and Working Class Masculinity

Location: G2, St Mary's University

The histories of all sporting clubs are replete with certain incidents that have been elevated to the status of club lore and legend. Beyond just recalling sporting triumphs or tragedies, these incidents are often presented as reflecting the spirit of the club and its core values. In addition, such popular mythology and nostalgia can be read as providing powerful representations of beliefs and attitudes, as well as serving to promote or reinforce particular social values. This paper investigates the meanings and values that are embedded in these stories. Why are some incidents remembered above all others, and what do the narratives that retell these events represent?

Utilising a case study of the popular history of the South Sydney Rugby League Club in Australia, the paper interrogates the most fabled stories in the collective memories of the club’s supporters. Two stories in particular, those of Clive Churchill’s broken arm and John Sattler’s broken jaw, feature most prominently in club legend, and have also been repeatedly perpetuated through both popular and academic histories of the club. Why, out of all the incidents involving the club, do these two stand out so much? The paper will argue that it is because the two incidents can be viewed as best embodying the hegemonic masculine values of the working-class locality that the club represented, and that their privileged position in the canon of club lore plays a powerful role in the reproduction of these same values.

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Date:
Wednesday 01 November 2017

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For more information about this event please email conferences@stmarys.ac.uk or call 020 8240 8219.

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