TitleUsing Power: An Exploration of Control Work in the Sport Marriage
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsOrtiz, SM
JournalSociological Perspectives
Pagination527 - 557
Date Published2006
ISBN Number0731-1214

Drawing from long-term ethnographic research, this article provides valuable insight into the power and control processes that emerge from the work/family issues of professional athletes and their wives. It examines from the wives' perspective how these husbands engage in the interrelated processes of gender work and "control work" in their marital relationships and how wives respond. The "spoiled athlete syndrome" is introduced and discussed within the context of a typology of control work. As processes of learning, cultivating, and exerting control, this syndrome begins with early male, sport, and power-control socialization and continues through occupational socialization. This article seeks to explore the possible consequences and implications of such "control management" by husbands who have learned to define the male self and sport involvement as aspects of a hegemonic masculinity and how such definitions affect their wives and marriages.