Bhana, D. (2008). ‘six packs and big muscles, and stuff like that’. primary school-aged south african boys, black. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29(1), 3.
This paper explores the salience of sport in the lives of eight-year-old and nine-year-old South African primary school boys. Drawing on ethnographic and interview data, I argue that young boys’ developing relationship with sport is inscribed within particular gendered, raced and classed discourses in South Africa. Throughout the paper I show differences and durability of meanings across the social sites that affect and position blacks, white, boys and girls. It is argued that young boys’ early association with sport is centrally about identity and doing sport, or at least establishing interest in sport is one important way in claiming to be a real boy. The findings have implications for the call by the South African Government to get the nation to play.
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