Boys will be boys’ the common expression to dismiss boisterous rowdy behaviour as a harmless trait of masculine adolescence However, there has been a recent surge of interest in the ‘lad culture’ phenomena. Defined by NUS ‘That’s what she said’ report as a contemporary form of masculinity that promotes unruly conduct whilst trivialising misogyny, homophobia and racism According to Temple and Burns ) ‘lad culture’ thrives among university students. University campuses appear to have fostered the environment for students to embody ‘lad’ characteristics, such as engaging in excessive drinking, sports and at times sexist and crude behaviours. Both on and off the University campus ‘lad culture’ is becoming a hot topic with local bars and sports societies joining forces to endorse binge drinking as well as academia responding to claims the rise of ‘lad culture’ encourages discriminatory ‘banter’ and in extreme cases sexual harassment among university students . The study recognises that masculine identities are not stagnant fixed roles and that not all males will adopt features associated with ‘lad culture’, however the research highlights several commonalities of the phenomenon. For instance, sport is a common attribute of ‘lad culture’ claiming that membership with a sports team provides an outlet for alpha-male dominance and pack mentality The NUS report stated that the desire to be a part of team meant some students felt they were unable to challenge discriminatory conduct and some even claiming they felt under pressure to mirror such behaviour in an attempt to gain peer acceptance
Behavior of this nature was further exemplified in November 2013 when the University of Stirling’s own hockey team became the centre of a media uproar as they were filmed singing a derogatory song whilst drinking and making Nazi salutes on a crowded bus
. The song was deemed explicit and offensive, sparking debates around how well universities a re coping with lad culture
. More recently, the University of Stirling’s football club caused controversy when they painted themselves black for an African cup themed night. Anti-racism charity ‘show racism the red card’ described the practice of ‘blacking out’ as an outdated method of racist mockery that cannot be tolerated in contemporary society
Sport related degrees, high quality resources and sports societies make strong contributions to the overall image of the University of Stirling, making the institution potentially more vulnerable to the negative impacts of ‘lad culture’. This study will revisit the University Hockey team almost two years on from the infamous ‘BusGate’ incident
and will explore the association and prevalence of ‘lad culture’.
What are the definitions and experiences of ‘lad culture’ within the hockey team?
In what ways is ‘lad culture’important in creating a sense of belonging within a university sports team?
How does ‘lad culture’ identity differ between male and female players?
In what ways is ‘lad culture’ the dominant form of capital in the sports team?
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