Of nerds and men: dimensions and discourses of masculinity in Nerds FC

Carniel, Jessica (2013) Of nerds and men: dimensions and discourses of masculinity in Nerds FC. In: Identity and myth in sports documentaries: critical essays. Scarecrow Press, Lanham, MD. United States, pp. 93-107. ISBN 978-0-8108-8789-3

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Abstract

In the lead-up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Australian television abounded with soccer-focused programs to celebrate the national side's first World Cup
qualification since 1974. Among these programs was Nerds FC, a remake of 2004 Danish reality television series FC Zulu. In the course of the series, various 'nerds'-including computer scientists, maritime historians, chemists, physicists, and so on-were transformed from feminized intellectuals to masculinized sportsmen. The series premise is predicated upon an understanding
of muscular masculinity that sees sporting prowess as indicative of manliness, but it also engages with the new, postmodem form of masculinity ('metrosexuality') most readily associated with star footballer David Beckham,
as the nerds are also groomed to look the part of the modern celebrity sport star. In Australia, soccer has often been denigrated as both a feminine and 'ethnic' sport. Nerds FC utilizes the reality television trope of transformation. The effects of the Australian series are therefore twofold: (I) to use sport as a means of changing the nerds into men and (2) to use this process of
masculinizing the nerds to masculinize the sport in the eyes of its Australian audience. This chapter also seeks to locate the position of such a television program within the contexts of both reality television and the documentary
tradition.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - School of Humanities and Communication
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2014 00:36
Last Modified: 03 May 2017 03:48
Uncontrolled Keywords: sport; masculinity; television; reality television; soccer; Australian studies
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169901 Gender Specific Studies
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190204 Film and Television
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950204 The Media
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950102 Organised Sports
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24509

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