Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 407–426 | Cite as

“You Fold Like a Little Girl:” (Hetero)Gender Framing and Competitive Strategies of Men and Women in No Limit Texas Hold Em Poker Games

  • Michelle Wolkomir


The formal rules, structure and practice of most sports in contemporary society prohibit men and women from competing on a “level playing field” and diminish women’s ability to launch a legitimate challenge to the masculine superiority embedded in sports competition. This study examines a relatively unique case—No Limit Texas Hold Em poker games in which men and women compete directly against one another under the same rules—to explore how the conditions under which men and women compete enable or impede the development of more gender egalitarian interactions and ideological frameworks. Drawing on ethnographic data, this examination reveals that, even in a more gender-neutral context, men and women learn to use heterogender frames to conceptualize poker. In doing so, they develop competitive strategies and interactions that predominately fit into, rather than subvert, gender hierarchy.


Gender Inequality Heteronormative Poker Women and Sports 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centenary CollegeShreveportUSA

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