Capitalizing on orthodox masculinity: the NFL, capitalism, and the pedagogy of becoming "controlled fury"




Tullia, Tawny LeBouef

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We often hear critics of American football blame the homosocializing space of the locker room as the site of lessons, player-to-player, on toxic masculinity. This dissertation problematizes that assertion by outlining a pedagogy largely scripted by the institutional powers of the NFL. There are more and more professional players questioning these lessons on how to be a football player, questioning the expectations of speech and gender performance. Using Deleuzian constructs of becoming, gender performance theories, and rhetorics of affect and ambience, this dissertation interrogates the notion of boys-will-be boys and the NFL as a capitalistically motivated institution writing a script on orthodox masculinity. In the dissertation, I describe and explicate a pedagogy of the NFL as a league and as a visible agent in our larger American cultural consciousness. The dissertation employs theories of ambient rhetoric and affect theory, along side Deleuzian constructs of becoming, to define the chōratic environment designed largely by this pedagogy. The league creates a product using the bodies, minds, and the ‘controlled fury’ of human beings. These human beings are required to tote a specific construction of masculinity for the media; they are required to conform to a specific mask for the cameras.



Language, literature and linguistics, Philosophy, religion and theology, Social sciences, Affect, Ambient rhetoric, Chora, Deleuze, Masculinity, NFL