Making Chinese-Canadian masculinities in Vancouver's physical education curriculum

Brad Millington, Patricia Vertinsky, Ellexis Boyle, Brian Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (SciVal)


Our paper illustrates how males of Chinese descent in British Columbia (BC) have historically been victims of overt and subtle forms of discrimination, and describes how racism is and was integrally linked to notions of class, gender and the body. Highlighted in our historical overview are issues around race and masculinity for Chinese males as they existed (and still exist) in the BC educational system, especially in sport-related and physical education (PE) contexts. We examine how some of these issues continue to impact Vancouver's schools through Millington's (2006) study of masculinities in secondary PE which showed how that environment, while offering the potential for various masculinities to flourish, tended to promote hegemonic gender identities as ‘normal’. In particular, we show how Chinese-Canadian boys, both Canadian born as well as more recent immigrants from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China, continue to be subject to subtle racist understandings of Chinese masculinities—understandings that are often camouflaged by the dominant national rhetoric of multiculturalism. We conclude the paper by arguing that if indeed schools’ curricula exacerbate problematic understandings of race and masculinity that underlie discriminatory behaviours and attitudes, then physical educators need the tools to develop strategies for change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-214
Number of pages20
JournalSport, Education and Society
Issue number2
Early online date1 May 2008
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


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