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The Sport MarriageWomen Who Make It Work$
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Steven M. Ortiz

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043161

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043161.001.0001

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Influences on the Sport Marriage

Influences on the Sport Marriage

(p.17) Chapter 1 Influences on the Sport Marriage
The Sport Marriage

Steven M. Ortiz

University of Illinois Press

This chapter identifies and examines personal and occupational realities that strongly influence the sport marriage and the wives’ lived experience. Key concepts emerging from the research are introduced: the spoiled athlete syndrome, motherization, boundary work, the virgin-prostitute syndrome, organizational dominance, an institutionalized brotherhood, and a culture of infidelity. It discusses the wife’s internalization of a “we” partnership and the couple’s construction of marital teamwork, an arrangement that usually benefits the husbands rather than the wives. It describes a hierarchy of wives that mirrors the husbands’ team and occupational status and the institutional brotherhood of teammates that strongly influences the husbands’ interpretations of masculinity, normalizes male dominance, and sanctions the husbands’ extramarital activities. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implicit marital bargain between couples in most sport marriages.

Keywords:   boundary work, culture of infidelity, hierarchy of wives, institutionalized brotherhood, marital teamwork, motherization, organizational dominance, spoiled athlete syndrome, virgin-prostitute syndrome, “we” partnership

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