Friendships worth fighting for: bonds between women and men karate practitioners as sites for deconstructing gender inequality

Chloe Maclean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Sport is argued to be one of the few remaining domains for constructing masculine identity and reproducing ideas of men’s (hierarchical) distinction from women. As a shared emotional (yet ‘masculine’) experience, sport lays the grounds for building close, intimate, friendships which, in men’s single-sex sport, are suggested to be underpinned by sharing sexist ideology. This paper argues that sex-integrated karate practice not only challenges the expectations/interpretations of women’s bodies, but can also situate women and men within mutually respectful, cherished relationships which diverge from conventional sexualized and unequal ways of ‘doing gender’ in mixed-sex relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1374-1384
Number of pages11
JournalSport in Society
Issue number8-9
Early online date22 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Friendship
  • Gender
  • Karate
  • Intimate relationships

Cite this