Steinmetz Spotlight: Michaela Wood ‘22

Zahra Khan, World/Business Editor

The World/Business section of the Concordiensis is excited to announce Steinmetz Spotlights! In honor of Steinmetz day approaching this Friday, the World/Business section is showcasing some of Union College students’ research projects. Not only is this a way for the Union Community to learn about exciting new research topics, but for students’ hard work over the course of this year to be shown off.

This week’s Steinmetz spotlight is Michaela Wood. She is a senior Anthropology and English ID major with a Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies minor from Winchester, MA. Wood’s research is focused on the experiences and representations of the male football player to reveal that questions about hegemonic masculinity that, as Wood points out, “arise in the minds of the very athletes who embody the stereotypes of ‘the man’”

Before researching, Wood found she was interested in studying meat consumption and masculinity. As she began her research, it became more centralized around “different facets of masculinity amongst sports athletes.” Wood centralized her research around Union College football players and her research features a film analysis of a sports film genre that highlights insights about relationships among bodies, diet preferences, and gendered stereotypes. Wood utilizes various literary skills to analyze the men in her ethnographic research and question how the men speak and act. Wood’s research combines these two practices into a “cultural analysis of the men in the Union College Football Team, and by extension, of the hegemonic constructions of masculinity more broadly.” 

Through the research process, Wood recalls the most challenging part of the research process was “engaging with the football team and also incorporating the two disciplines.”  However, when asked about the most rewarding point of the learning process, Wood writes it was “getting to interact and learn more about the football players.”