An Analysis of the Conversation Surrounding the 2016 and 2017 ESPN’s Body Issue Men Athletes on Instagram


  • Paige Coyne University of Windsor
  • Sara Santarossa University of Windsor
  • Erin Dufour University of Windsor
  • Craig G Greenham University of Windsor
  • Sarah J Woodruff University of Windsor


Hegemonic Masculinity, Body Issue, Men Athletes, Instagram, Comments


Purpose: This study examined the conversation surrounding ESPN’s 2016 and 2017 Body Issue men athletes on Instagram (i.e., posts tagged #BodyIssue) to determine if the conversation was reinforcing or subverting traditional notions of hegemonic masculinity. Methods: For 7 days following the release of each issue, #BodyIssue posts were collected using Netlytic. Text and content category analyses were conducted on all records (i.e., comments), with 13,920 captured. Results: More records were categorized as ‘hegemonic masculinity’ compared to ‘non-hegemonic masculinity’, with variability between athletes reported. Conclusions: Thus, the online conversation generally supported traditional characteristics of hegemonic masculinity and Instagram users appeared to often identify hegemonic masculinity characteristics of the featured athletes, even though some athletes subverted hegemonic masculinity norms because of their race, gender, or status.


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