This article uses an ethnographically based sociolinguistic approach to analyse ritual interactions that took place in a New Zealand male rugby team, paying particular attention to the way in which space and place are used as part of the construction of team identity. In following the development of spatial practice, the discourses of territoriality in pre-match communication are explored, and it is shown how the team uses spatial and linguistic practice to reconstruct an unfamiliar space as “home,” thus allowing them to create a familiar space through ritual wherever they might be. In analysing the discourses and communicative practices present in the locker room, the construction of hegemonic masculinity is also discussed and it is found that while rugby is still inextricably bound up with hegemonic masculine ideology, these are found to a much lesser degree than elsewhere.
- spatial practice
- interactional sociolinguistics