Gender and Power in Fantasy SportsRebecca Joyce Kissane and Sarah Winslow
Fantasy sports have the opportunity to provide a sporting community in which gendered physical presence plays no role—a space where men and women can compete and interact on a level playing field. Whose Game? shows, however, that while many turn to this space to socialize with friends or participate in a uniquely active and competitive fandom, men who play also depend on fantasy sports to perform a boyhood vision of masculinity otherwise inaccessible to them. Authors Rebecca
Kissane and Sarah Winslow draw on a rich array of survey, interview, and observational data to examine how gender, race, and class frame the experiences of everyday fantasy sports players.
This pioneering book examines gendered structures and processes, such as jock statsculinity—a nerdish form of masculine one-upmanship—and how women are often rendered as outsiders. Ultimately, Whose Game? demonstrates that fantasy sports are more than just an inconsequential leisure activity. This online world bleeds into participants’ social lives in gendered ways—forging and strengthening relationships but also taking participants’ time and attention to generate negative emotions, stress, discord, and unproductivity.
"The masterful use of a mixed and multimethod approach that relies on quantitative and qualitative data leads Kissane and Winslow to a series of more complex and nuanced set of conclusions otherwise inaccessible to either the casual or even a seasoned participant. Of their many contributions to sociology of gender and/or the sociology of sport, the authors are able to identify the mechanisms through which gender, race, and class privileges are reflected and reproduced. The book is accessible and engaging."
—Gender and Society
"Kissane and Winslow examine the ways that gender, race, and class shape the structure and experience of fantasy sports participation in ways that reproduce an intersectional array of inequalities under the guise of 'good fun.' Their central argument is that fantasy sports matter and are more than an insignificant pastime…. Whose Game? is a useful case study of these larger issues, examining important social and cultural transformations underway."
"In the end, the authors conclude that fantasy sports is a gendered space that ultimately reproduces the stereotypical ideologies of gender, race, and class found in traditional sports, a domain which by all accounts favors ‘white, class-privileged men.’ These findings adeptly answer the title question of who dominates and controls fantasy sports…. Summing Up: Highly recommended."
"Whose Game? offers insight into the changing face of masculinity through the lens of fantasy sports. Drawing on a rich array of data including interviews, surveys, and personal observations, Whose Game? takes readers on a compelling journey into a world driven by new media, a desire to cling to boyhood pursuits, and more.... (A) well researched and written book, Whose Game? provides a valuable contribution to the study of masculinity and sport within a U.S. context."
" Overall, the book is excellent. It is rich, fluidly written, provides genuine insight into a world known intimately by insiders, but not by many outsiders, and is a superb example of gender-based analysis."
"(Whose Game) is innovative in the field of fantasy sports as it delves deeply into general motives for playing, consuming, and investing (time and money).... The book clearly shows that fantasy sports are not without consequence; they cannot be viewed as a leisure activity only. They have an impact on how we view sports (masculine, feminine, and other), how we view gender and race, who dominates the gaming space, who is the subordinate in these games, and why.... All in all, the volume will surely be read widely and used as a reference work by researchers for many years to follow."
—The Journal of Popular Culture
As an international cultural activity for athleticism, spectatorship, and global cultural exchange, sport is unmatched by any other force on earth. And yet it remains a consistently understudied dimension of history and cultural studies. Sporting, edited by Amy Bass, aims to contribute to the study of sport by publishing works by people across a range of disciplines, by professional sportswriters, and by athletes to add substance to our still emerging notion of globalization.