Managing Gender

Affirmative Action and Organizational Power in Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand Sport

By Jim McKay

Subjects: Gender Studies
Series: SUNY series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations
Paperback : 9780791434222, 217 pages, July 1997
Hardcover : 9780791434215, 217 pages, July 1997

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Table of contents

List of Tables



List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction

"The Search for Mr. Right"

Profeminist Research

Profeminist Research and Sport


2. Theoretical Framework

Thinking Institutionally about Gender and Organizations

Gender and Social Constructionism

Gendered Structures of Labor, Power, and Cathexis

Implications for Gender and Sport


3. The Corporate-Managerial State, Gender, and Sport

The Rise of the Corporate-Managerial State

Affirmative Action in The Corporate-Managerial State

Implications for Affirmative Action in Sport


4. Structures of Labor, Power, and Cathexis


Structures of Labor

Structures of Power

Structures of Cathexis


5. "Doing" Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action Opponents

Affirmative Action Skeptics and Cynics

Affirmative Action Advocates

Organizations that Make Affirmative Action Work


6. The Write Stuff? Media Representations of Affirmative Action in Australian Sport

The Mass Media and the Social Construction of Gender

Sports Journalism and "Groupthink"

The "Paranoia of the Powerful"


7. Hegemonic Masculinity and the Gender Politics of Affirmative Action Policy Research

Intellectual Work and Cultural Policy

Background to the Report

The Commission's Response to the Report

"Talking to the ISAs" Or "Dialogue with the Deaf"


8. One Cheer for Affirmative Action

The Limits of Affirmative Action

Changing Organizational Cultures

Changing Men

Changing Sport

Who and What Is Changing Whom?


Appendix 1: Organizational Affiliations of Interviewees

Appendix 2: Questionnaire on the Status of Women Sport Executives

Appendix 3: Quantitative Summaries of Australian Respondents' Perceptions of Their Organizations


Subject Index

Name Index

Evaluates the implementation of affirmative action programs for women in Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand sporting organizations.


This analysis of gender, sexuality, and power in sport evaluates how affirmative action programs for women have been implemented in sporting organizations in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Based on in-depth interviews with over one hundred men and women managers and supported by colorful examples from the popular press, Managing Gender shows that affirmative action initiatives usually have been marginalized, trivialized, or incorporated into the corporate-managerial and masculinist cultures that pervade sporting organizations, the media, and the state.

Jim McKay is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is the editor-in-chief of the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, and author of No Pain, No Gain? Sport and Australian Culture.


"The book has tremendous breadth and is theoretically bold … Its relevance and significance for affirmative action studies on race and gender relations in organizations within and outside the United States is profound. " — Gender & Society

"Managing Gender will add significantly to the ever-increasing literature in the area of 'gender and sport,' most of which emanates from the United States and, therefore, focuses primarily on American culture. It will be a valuable addition as well to the sport management and organizational analysis literature that has not paid serious enough attention to gender or to the increasing scholarship on feminist organizations and feminist theoretical discussions of organizational analysis theory. " — Ann Hall, author of Feminism and Sporting Bodies: Essays on Theory and Practice

"McKay is probably the most visible and significant scholar doing this kind of work in Australia today. He builds a case for a sociological analysis of sports as a gendered institution by looking at different sites of its organization and deployment. McKay's analysis is sharp and the stories interesting. " — Michael Kimmel, State University of New York at Stony Brook

"This book provides a useful and timely example of the ways in which legislated equity initiatives can be resisted, subverted, and coopted not only by those whose power and privilege are threatened (in this case, most men) but also by some women. The extensive excerpts from the interviews provide graphic evidence of the extent of the problem. " — Helen Jefferson Lenskyj, University of Toronto, author of Out of Bounds: Women, Sport and Sexuality and Women, Sport and Physical Activity