Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Masculinity, tourism and transgression: a qualitative study of British stag tourism in an Eastern European City

By Thomas Thurnell-Read

Abstract

This thesis explores the recent phenomenon of premarital stag party tours made to Eastern European cities by groups of British men. It is based on ethnographic field research in Krakow, Poland, conducted over the course of one year. The use of qualitative methods, primarily participant-observation, allows for the exploration of the in situ meanings and social interactions which define the stag weekend. The thesis argues that the behaviour of stag tour groups offers considerable insight into masculinity and that the meanings attributed to such behaviour reveal complex construction of contemporary British masculinities. It is argued that the Eastern European stag tour is both sold and consumed on the premise that it represents a distinct physical, social and symbolic space and time within which masculine behaviour can be enacted. This is seen as a liminal space within which an exaggerated hyper-masculinity based on a carnivalesque social transgression becomes possible and desired. It is argued that the stag tour is both performative and embodied. The male body plays a central role through the consumption of alcohol, its effects upon the body and the use of bodies by stag tourists to foster an ethos of playfulness and enact a transgressive release from social restraint. Intimacy, sociability and group cohesion play a significant role in shaping the meaning of the stag weekend for tour participants. The thesis concludes that the stag tour represents a meaningful and symbolic moment for its participants, which is mediated by notions of masculinity and homosociality. While the stag tour represents a manifestation of hegemonic masculinity in a narrow sense, it also highlights the adaptability, rather than „crisis‟, of masculinity for the men involved

Topics: BF, HM
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3211

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (1999). A Crisis in Masculinity, or New Agendas for Men?‟
  2. (1971). A Note on Wedding Customs doi
  3. (1997). A Top Night: Social protest, Masculinity and the Culture of Drinking Violence‟. doi
  4. (2005). Alcohol and Masculinity: The Case of Ethnic Youth Gangs‟, in Drinking Cultures: alcohol and identity T.W.
  5. (1989). Alcohol and Masculinity‟. doi
  6. (1992). Alcohol, Gender and Culture. doi
  7. (1998). An analysis of the sexual, alcohol and drug related behavioural patterns of students on spring break‟. doi
  8. (2005). An Ethnography of Englishness: Experiencing identity through tourism‟. doi
  9. (1995). Analysing Social Settings: A guide to qualitative observation and analysis. 3 rd Edition.
  10. (2008). And now, the rest of the story: A commentary on Christine Beasley‟s “Rethinking hegemonic masculinity in a globalizing world”‟. Men and Masculinities, doi
  11. (2001). Badfellas: Crime, tradition and new masculinities. doi
  12. (2006). Bar Wars: Contesting the Night in Contemporary British Cities. doi
  13. (1992). Beachboys as culture brokers in Bakau Town, The Gambia‟.
  14. (2006). Bodies at Work. doi
  15. (2001). Bodies in School: Young men, embodiment, and heterosexual masculinities‟. doi
  16. (2002). Body Image: Focus groups with boys and men‟. doi
  17. (1995). Body techniques, agency and intercorporeality: doi
  18. (2005). British Hens and Stags:
  19. (2004). Ceremonial Disrobement and Moral Choice: Consumption rituals at Mardi Gras‟ in Contemporary Consumption Rituals: A research anthology, doi
  20. (1987). Changing Men: new directions in research on men and masculinity. doi
  21. (1998). Checking out the planet‟ in Cool Places: geographies of youth culture,
  22. (1996). Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic performance. doi
  23. (2000). Class, masculinity, manners, and mores: public space and public sphere in nineteenth-century Europe‟. Social Science History, doi
  24. (2004). Clothing and Embodiment: Men managing body image and appearance‟. doi
  25. (1995). Club Cultures: Music, media and subcultural capital. doi
  26. (1999). Clubbing: Dancing, ecstasy and vitality. doi
  27. (2007). College Alcohol Use and the Embodiment of Hegemonic Masculinity Among European College Men‟. Sex Roles, doi
  28. (2001). Connell‟s Concept of Hegemonic Masculinity: A critique‟. Theory and Society, doi
  29. (2001). Constructed leisure space: The seaside at Durban‟. doi
  30. (1995). Consuming Places. doi
  31. (2006). Consuming Pleasures: Package Tourists in Mallorca‟ in Tourism, Consumption and Representation: narratives of place and doi
  32. (2005). Cultural tourism in Central and Eastern Europe: the views of „induced image formation agents‟‟. doi
  33. (2006). Cultures of Masculinity. doi
  34. (2008). Destination Drinking: Towrads a research agenda on alcotourism‟. Druges: education, prevention and policy, doi
  35. (1992). Discovering Men: Critical studies on men and masculinities. doi
  36. (1994). Dislocating Masculinity: Comparative ethnographies. doi
  37. (2002). Divisions in the Dark: youth cultures, transitions and segmented consumption spaces in the night-time economy‟. doi
  38. (1987). Doing gender‟. doi
  39. (1976). Doing Social Life: The qualitative study of human interaction in natural settings. doi
  40. (2001). Dollars Are a Girl‟s Best Friend? Female Tourists‟ sexual behaviour in the Caribbean‟. doi
  41. (2001). Dollars are a girls best friend: Female tourists‟ sexual behaviour in the Caribbean‟. doi
  42. (1992). Drinking and masculinity in everyday Swedish culture.
  43. (1992). Drinking on masculinity: alcohol and gender in Andalusia, in D. Gefou-Madianou (ed) Alcohol, Gender and Culture. doi
  44. (2004). Drinking Rituals Among the Heaviest Drinkers: College student binge drinkers and alcoholics‟ in Contemporary Consumption Rituals: A research anthology,
  45. (1997). Embodying Theory: Beyond modernist and postmodernist readings of the body‟ in Embodied Practices: Feminist perspectives on the body, K. Davis (ed).
  46. (2001). Ethnography: A research method in practice‟. doi
  47. (1995). Ethnography: Principles in practice. doi
  48. (2009). Every time I do it I absolutely annihilate myself‟: Loss of (self-)consciousness 322 and loss of memory in young people‟s drinking narratives‟. doi
  49. (2008). Everyday Masculinity and Extreme Sports: Male identity and rock climbing.
  50. (1977). Face-saving at a singles dance‟. Social Problems, doi
  51. (2006). Father dies in 20-man stag night fight‟,
  52. (2005). Feeling at Home: Embodying Britishness in a Spanish charter tourist resort‟. doi
  53. (2001). Female tourists and beach boys: Romance or Sex Tourism?‟. doi
  54. (2007). Fieldwork Embodied‟ in Embodying Sociology: Retrospect, progress and prospects, C. Shilling (ed).
  55. (1975). Further Notes on Wedding Customs in Industry‟. Folklore, doi
  56. (1987). Gender and Power: society, the person and sexual politics. Cambridge: Polity Press/Blackwell. doi
  57. (1990). Gender Trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity. doi
  58. (1999). Gender, Identity and Place: Understanding Feminist Geographies. doi
  59. (1998). Gender, resistance and play: Bachelorette parties in Atlantic Canada‟.
  60. (1997). Gender, Work and Tourism. doi
  61. (1993). Gendered Participation: Masculinity and fieldwork in a south London adolescent community‟ in Gendered Fields: Women,
  62. (1995). Gringas and Otavalenos: Changing Tourist Relations‟. doi
  63. (2005). Gut feeling, back-slapping: Gendered embodiment on the exchange‟ in Gender, Bodies
  64. (2008). Hegemonic masculinity in the theory of hegemony: A brief response to Christine Beasley‟s “Rethinking hegemonic masculinity in a globalizing world”‟. Men and Masculinities, doi
  65. (2005). Hegemonic Masculinity: rethinking the concept‟. doi
  66. (2008). Hen Parties: Bonding or brawling‟. Drugs: education, prevention and policy, doi
  67. (2005). Homosocial desire in men‟s talk: Balancing and recreating cultural discourses of masculinity‟. doi
  68. (1998). I love you, man”: Overt Expressions of Affection
  69. (2003). If I let a goal in, I‟ll get beat up”: Contradistinctions in masculinities, sport and health‟. doi
  70. (1991). Imitation and Gender Insubordination‟ in Inside/Out: Lesbian theories, gay theories, doi
  71. (1997). Interpretative Ethnography: Ethnographic practices for the st Century. doi
  72. (1997). Interviewing Men: Vulnerabilities and dilemmas‟. doi
  73. (2000). Introduciton: Researching for the Global‟ in Global Ethnography: Forces, connections, and imaginations in a postmodern world. doi
  74. (2004). Ironic Discourse: Evasive Masculinity in Men‟s Lifestyle Magazines‟. doi
  75. (1996). Is masculinity dead? A critique of the concept of masculinity/masculinities‟ in Understanding Masculinities: social relations and cultural
  76. (2004). Islands in the Sun: Cyprus‟ in Tourism Mobilities: places to play, places doi
  77. (2003). Language and Sexuality. Cambridge: doi
  78. (2009). Latvia warning for British Stags‟,
  79. (2003). Leisure life: myth, masculinity and modernity. doi
  80. (1988). Louts and Legends: Male youth culture in an inner city school. London: Unwin Hyman. doi
  81. (1995). Love and Money: Romance Tourism in Jamaica‟. doi
  82. (2007). Male Bodies: An introduction‟. doi
  83. (1997). Man Enough: Embodying masculinities. doi
  84. (1993). Managing Tourism in Historic Cities, Proceedings for Managing tourism in historic cities: International Seminar, doi
  85. (2004). Manhood in Contradiction: The two faces of Straight Edge‟. Men and Masculinities, doi
  86. (2007). Manhood Incorporated: Diet and the embodiment of “civilized” masculinity‟. Men and Masculinities, Online Release. doi
  87. (2008). Manners maketh the city: reflections on behaviour and manners in urban places‟. Urban Design, doi
  88. (2002). Masculinities and Culture.
  89. (2005). Masculinities, Performativity, and Subversions: A sociological reappraisal‟. doi
  90. (2003). Masculinity and Men‟s Lifestyle Magazines. doi
  91. (2003). Men and Masculinities: Theory, research and social practice.
  92. (2006). Men and Women‟s Experiences with Hazing in a MaleDominated Elite Military Institution‟. Men and Masculinities, doi
  93. (1994). Men don‟t go to the moon: language, space, and masculinities doi
  94. (2003). Men‟s Talk: Stories in the Making of Masculinity. doi
  95. (1995). Merleau-Ponty, the elusive body and carnal sociology‟. doi
  96. (1993). Methodological and conceptual issues raised by the study of international tourism: a test for sociology‟ in Tourism Research: critiques and challenges
  97. (2007). Mundane Mobilities, Banal Travels‟. Social and Cultural Geography, doi
  98. (1998). Muscle, „Hard Men‟ and „Iron‟ Mike Tyson: Reflections on desire, anxiety and the embodiment of masculinity‟. doi
  99. (2002). National Identity, Popular Culture and Everyday Life. doi
  100. (1998). Natural for women, abnormal for men: Beliefs about pain and gender‟
  101. (1994). Nightwork: sexuality, pleasure, and corporate masculinity in a Tokyo hostess club. Chicago: doi
  102. (2003). On Holiday in the Liminoid Playground: Place, Time and Self in Tourism‟. in Sex And Tourism:
  103. (1979). On tourism and modern culture‟. doi
  104. (2003). One David Beckham?: Celebrity, masculinity, and the Soccerati‟.
  105. (2000). Overloaded: Popular culture and the future of feminism. doi
  106. (2008). Pack a more powerful punch‟ and „lay the pipe‟: Erectile enhancement discourse as a body project for masculinity‟. doi
  107. (2004). Performing Masculinity on the Thai Beach Scene‟. doi
  108. (2008). Performing Tourism: Exploring the productive consumption of tourism in enclavic spaces‟. doi
  109. (1991). Places on the Margin: alternative geographies of modernity. doi
  110. (1999). Poland: in-bound tourism from the UK‟. doi
  111. (1985). Poland's International Tourism: Long-term growth, breakdown, rapid recovery'.
  112. (2002). Police struggle as stag nights boom‟,
  113. (2002). Practical Social Investigation: qualitative and quantitative methods in social research.
  114. (2000). Privileging the male gaze: Gendered tourism landscapes‟. doi
  115. (2004). Progress in qualitative research in tourism: epistemology, ontology and methodology‟
  116. (2001). Putting the Body‟s Feet on the Ground: Towrads a sociology reconception of gendered and sexual embodiment‟ in Constructing Gendered Bodies,
  117. (1996). Queer Theory/Sociology. doi
  118. (2000). Receiving Shadows: Governance and liminality in the night-time economy‟. doi
  119. (2003). Redundant Masculinities?: Employment, change and white working class youth. doi
  120. (2008). Rethinking hegemonic masculinity in a globalizing world‟. doi
  121. (2009). Riga stag parties are not an entirely British affair‟,
  122. (2008). Royal‟s boozy stag weekend‟,
  123. (1998). Running around like a lunatic: Colin‟s Body and the case of male embodiment‟
  124. (2004). Sacred Iconography in Secular Space: Alters, alters, and alterity at the Burning Man Project‟ in Contemporary Consumption Rituals: A research anthology,
  125. (1990). second edition). The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and travel in contemporary societies. doi
  126. (2003). Sex and Tourism: Journeys of Romance, doi
  127. (1996). Sex Tourism in Cuba‟. doi
  128. (2002). Sexual Harassment and Masculinity: The Power and Meaning of “Girl Watching”‟. doi
  129. (1991). Spotting the Invisible Man: The influence of male gender of fieldwork relations‟. doi
  130. (2006). Stag night revellers 'should pay for embassy crisis help'‟, The Times Online,
  131. (2007). Stag parties plaguing
  132. (2009). Stag party backlash unlikely to last despite Latvia‟s best efforts‟, The Times,
  133. (1973). Staged Authenticity: Arrangements of Social Space in Tourist Settings' doi
  134. (2009). Strong euro stems stag party flood‟.
  135. (2003). Stylish Hard Bodies: Branded masculinity in Men’s Health magazine‟. Sociological Perspectives, doi
  136. (2001). Sultry climates: travel and sex since the Grand Tour. London: doi
  137. (1982). Thai girls and Farang men: the edge of ambiguity‟. doi
  138. (1994). The „Other‟ Postmodern Tourism: Travel, culture and the new middle-classes‟. doi
  139. (1994). The Bachelor‟s Transgression: Identity and difference in the Bachelor Party‟. doi
  140. (2000). The Bali Syndrome‟: the explosion and implosion of tourist spaces‟. Tourism Geographies, doi
  141. (1998). The Beer talking: four lads, a carry out and the reproduction of masculinities‟. doi
  142. (1992). The Body of White Space: Beyond stiff voices, flacid feelings and silent cells‟
  143. (2000). The British on the Costa del Sol: Transnational identities and local communities. doi
  144. (2007). The Brits are at it again, but not in
  145. (1978). The Civilising Process [vol. 1]: the history of manners. doi
  146. (1975). The Cocktail Waitress: Women‟s work in a Man‟s World. doi
  147. (2006). The Crisis in Masculinity‟ doi
  148. (2005). The Destination image, romance and place experience – an application of intimacy theory in tourism‟. doi
  149. (2006). The drunken English are causing a stir in Krakow‟ Gazeta Wyborcza,
  150. (1998). The End of Masculinity: the confusion of sexual genesis and sexual difference in modern society. doi
  151. (1999). The Ethnographic Self: Fieldwork and the representation of identity. doi
  152. (2005). The Future of Men.
  153. (2007). The Girl Hunt: Urban nightlife and the performance of masculinity as collective activity‟. Symbolic Interaction, doi
  154. (2000). The Glass Phallus: Pub(lic) Masculinity and Drinking in Rural New Zealand‟. doi
  155. (1975). The Golden Hordes: international tourism and the pleasure periphery. doi
  156. (1961). The Image: Or what happened to the American dream? London : doi
  157. (1993). The Importance of researcher‟s gender in the in-depth interview: Evidence from two case studies of males nurses‟. doi
  158. (1999). The Male Body: A new look at men in public and private.
  159. (1983). The Managed Heart: Commercialization of human feeling. doi
  160. (1994). The masculinisation of Stirling's heritage‟ in Tourism: A gender analysis,
  161. (1995). The question of belief”: writing poststructural ethnography‟. doi
  162. (2003). The Sensuous in the Tourist Encounter: Introduction: The power of the Body in Tourist Studies. Tourist Studies, doi
  163. (2002). The Tortures of Mel Gibson: Masochism and the sexy Male Body‟. Men and Masculinities, doi
  164. (1976). The Tourist: a new theory of the leisure class. doi
  165. (2004). The true cost of stag and hen nights revealed‟,
  166. (2002). Theorising Urban Playscapes: Producing, regulating and consuming youthful nightlife city spaces‟. Urban Studies, doi
  167. (1973). Thick Description: Towards and interpretative theory of culture‟ in The Interpretation of Cultures: selected essays.
  168. (1980). Throwing like a girl: a phenomenology of feminine body comportment, motility and spatiality‟. Human Studies, doi
  169. (1985). Tour Guide Performances as Sight Sacralization‟. doi
  170. (2000). Tourism and “Embodied” Commodities: Sex Tourism in the Caribbean‟ Tourism and Sex: Culture, Commerce and Coercion S. Clift and S.Carter (eds). doi
  171. (1993). Tourism and historical heritage: Physical planning and management issues: The Krakow challenge‟ in Managing Tourism in Historic Cities, K. Bronski (ed).
  172. (2005). Tourism and Intercultural Exchange: Why Tourism Matters. doi
  173. (2001). Tourism in Global Society: place, culture, consumption. doi
  174. (1994). Tourism, gender and development in the Caribbean‟ in Tourism: A gender analysis, doi
  175. (2005). Tourism, Performance and Social Exclusion in “Olde York”‟. doi
  176. (2003). Tourism: A gender analysis, doi
  177. (2001). Tourist Encounters‟. Tourist Studies. doi
  178. (1998). Tourists at the Taj: performance and meaning at a symbolic site. doi
  179. (2002). Tourists at the Taj: walking and gazing‟ in Ethnographic Research: a reader, S. Taylor (ed).
  180. (1985). Towards a New Sociology of Masculinity‟. Theory and Society. doi
  181. (1988). Traditions in the qualitative sociology of tourism‟. doi
  182. (2001). Walking on the Beaches Looking at the…Bodies‟ in Constructing Gendered Bodies, doi
  183. (2007). We‟re not the Barmy Army!‟: Reflections on the sports tourism experience‟. doi
  184. (1992). What can you do with a man?: Feminism and the critical appraisal of masculinity‟.
  185. (1990). When Blue Collors and White Collors Meet at Play: The case of the yaught club‟. Qualitaitve Sociology,
  186. (2000). Why College Men Drink: Alcohol, Adventure, and the Paradox of Masculinity‟. doi
  187. (1996). Writing the “wrongs” of fieldwork: Confronting our own research/writing dilemmas in urban ethnography. Qualitative Inquiry. doi
  188. (1993). You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine: Reflections on the male body and masculinities‟
  189. (2006). Young Men and Masculinities: Global cultures and intimate lives. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.