Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


First Advisor

Claire Bracken

Second Advisor

Arsalan Khan

Third Advisor

Anastasia Peaase


Meatheads, Stereotypes, Masculinity, Manhood, Diet, Body Image, Meat, Protein, Identity, Gender, Football


This thesis explores the experiences and representations of the male football player. It provides an anthropological study of Union College football players and a film analysis of the sports film genre, revealing critical insights about relationships among bodies, diet preferences, and gendered stereotypes. These insights move beyond the “meathead” stereotypes that society constructs for the male football player. This thesis combines Anthropology and English to reveal that questions about hegemonic masculinity arise in the minds of the very athletes who embody the stereotypes of ‘the man.’ Moreover, sports films’ popularity lies in themes that entice men to acknowledge their emotions. Through the utilization of literary skills, I deeply analyze the men in my ethnographic research and question how they speak and act. Furthermore, the paper demonstrates how the two disciplines merge to create a cultural analysis of the men of the Union College Football Team and, by extension, of the hegemonic constructions of masculinity more broadly.