Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience: Romantic Idiom in Body Culture Advertising
Ads appeal to us in ways that both reflect and shape current body-centered cultural practices. Although few would consider advertising to be a literary genre, in fact Romantic words and images suffuse ads for sport and exercise, leisure, diet and health, beauty, and fashions in nearly all of the mainstream glossies. In this context, Romance refers to such qualities as authenticity, spontaneity, imagination, passion, mystery, innocence, nature, and community. Since these Romantic words and images constitute a share of our daily lived experience, we incorporate them into our sense of identity and employ them as we relate to others as well. This paper uses current body culture advertising from mainstream glossies to illustrate the significance of Romantic imagery for our self-fashioning in modernity. Sub-genres of Romanticism, and areas where the genre may express conflict or contradiction, are identified from the sample of ads. The paper concludes by evaluating the usefulness of a literary genre approach to the understanding of body culture, and suggesting lines for further investigation.
Andrew Baerg, University of Iowa
Technologies of Government and Virtual Football
This paper draws upon Nikolas Rose’s (1999) and Mitchell Dean’s (1999) reading of Foucault’s notion of governmentality and applies aspects of governmentality studies to the most recent incarnation of the digital football video game, ESPN NFL 2K5. In keeping with Rose’s emphasis on technologies of government as “an assemblage of forms of practical knowledge…[used] to achieve certain outcomes in the conduct of the governed,” the video game, ESPN NFL 2K5, produces a technology of government associated with rational productivity and quantification. In order to compete successfully in the game, players must interact with these technologies of government implicated in the game’s digital football world. As such the virtual football that is ESPN NFL 2K5 remediates technologies of government that have long been associated with the real game of football.
Alan Bairner, Loughborough University
Marxism, Hegemony and Sport: Towards a Re-Appropriation of Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci has long been one of the most visible intellectual influences in the development of radical sociologies of sport. However, this paper argues that many of those who currently apply Gramscian concepts to the analysis of sport have failed to engage honestly with his work. Indeed many exponents of hegemony theory ignore Gramsci’s revolutionary Marxism and offer in its place social democratic, liberal or postmodernist readings which serve to misrepresent Gramsci’s social and political theory. The paper seeks to rescue Gramsci from some of his admirers and to demonstrate ways in which his work can be used in the sociology of sport without betraying his political legacy. Particular reference is made to Gramsci’s theory of the state, his concept of the intellectuals and his ideas concerning passive revolution and the national-popular.
Bjorn Barland, Aker University Hospital Hormone Laboratory, Oslo, Norway
Anabolic Steroids: The Men’s World?
This abstract is based on findings and experience gained from an ongoing multidisciplinary research project at the Aker University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. Six months ago, the Norwegian Anti-doping Information Centre opened a hot-line phone and a web site. The Services were localized to the Hormone Laboratory Aker University Hospital, Aker University Hospital, Oslo. The Information Centre was officially opened by the Minister of Health, with the mandate to generate multidisciplinary research projects concerning doping abuse. In the last decades several publications have drawn on attention to the male body obsession, which is named as megarexia, reverse anorexia, the Adonis Complex, etc. The aforementioned male body obsession usually is connected with anabolic steroid abuse. On this basis we assumed that a hot-line phone and a web site would be a popular helping element for male users of anabolic steroids to give up their abuse. Our experiences so far have shown more or less the opposite. A great number of the users define this service as troublesome and have a hostile and aggressive attitude to documentations, facts, and general contents on the home page. The paper will discuss some theories as explanations for the user’s negative attitudes.
Rob Beamish, Queen's University
'The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig:' The Convergence of the High-Performance Sport Systems in the Formerly Divided Germany
Prior to the end of World War II, Germans on both sides of the post-War iron curtain shared a common sport history and sport culture. Despite that shared history, the unique political dynamics that existed among the Allied occupational forces in the immediate post-War period, along with the wider dynamics of the Cold War as it developed in the 1950s and 1960s, led to the formation of two high-performance sport systems that differed in many substantial ways. This paper begins with an overview of some of the major political forces that shaped the high-performance sport systems in the respective Germanys and indicates some of their fundamental differences. At the same time, both systems created and were confronted by social forces and historical pressures that overrode the apparently fundamental differences between the Federal Republic (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic’s sport systems. When these forces are examined and one studies the overall trajectory of the FRG’s sport system, in particular, it is apparent that prior to unification the two systems shared fundamental features that made them more alike than different. In the end, at the most fundamental levels, one could not tell the men from the pigs.
Rob Beamish, Queen's University
Sport, Steroids and Alienated Labour: A Marxist Analysis.
High-performance athletes appear as the epitome of individualism; single-minded, hard work leads to success, glamour, and abundant material reward. But a critical examination of high-performance athletes' labour process shows they are just one component within a complex, scientifically rationalized system. Drawing upon Marxist-informed themes of alienated labour, this paper examines the imperatives of high performance sport and locates the use of performance-enhancing substances within that system. The athletes' work-world extends well beyond the glamour of television to systems of early childhood identification, rationalized training, national sport systems, and the sports medicine complex. The way high-performance sport confronts its athlete-producers, and dehumanizes them, is placed in its full socio-historical context. No different than the Third World garment workers who stitch their track suits and produce their shoes, world-class athletes work to production rhythms, within a complex division of labour that lies outside their individual control. The potentially most liberating and expressive experience athletic performance at the world-class level is one that dominates and controls its immediate producers to the detriment of them and the spectators who consume their production.
Don Belcher, The University of Alabama
Gone With the Wind: Integration and the Southeastern Conference
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) was the last major intercollegiate conference in the United States to integrate its sports teams. This reflects the Southeast’s volatile past, both in the Civil War and later in opposition to the Civil Rights Movement At present, the SEC is one of the premier athletic conferences. The schools of the SEC have been rewarded with high national media exposure, which may in turn be utilized in student recruitment. A casual view of the sports teams of the SEC, especially football and basketball, would leave the impression that integration has prospered at these academic institutions. This presentation will highlight and analyze the extent to which the schools of the SEC have integrated their athletic programs compared to both the general school population and racial make up of the states involved. Data will be drawn from the NCAA (race and ethnicity by sport data), the Academic Athletic Report Card, and State Department High School Graduation Data. Further, discussion of the African American athletes’ arrival, daily life, and eventual leaving from the institutions for which they perform will be compared to the Old South. The multiple ways in which the image of the plantation from the Old South can be paralleled in this New South will be highlighted.
Andrew C. Billings, Clemson University
(Re)Considering Sport as Communicative (Re)Production
The community of sport is a process that is communicatively accomplished and interactively maintained. Accordingly, the intersection of communication and sport is conceptually explored. Drawing upon literature from the discipline of communication studies, and various allied disciplines, the domain of sport is (re)considered as a form of communicative (re)production. Integrating such interdisciplinary research serves to illustrate the multiplicity of ways in which communication (re)produces—and subsequently shapes—the experience of sport.
Andrew C. Billings, Clemson University
(Re)Examining the Past, Present, and Future of Sport Promotion Scholarship
Sports television programming has proven to be the most elastic of all television program genres; as viewing options increase, demand has increased as well. Because the bulk of television sports viewers are usually the coveted demographic (males, ages 18-49), networks have often loaded sports contests with enticements for sports viewers to watch other programming, and communication scholars have carefully examined the potential effectiveness of these on-air promotional strategies. This paper provides an overview of past scholarship in the area of sports promotion, particularly examining the multiple methodologies employed and the often contradictory findings about the impact of on-air promotion of televised sport on program ratings. In addition, the author will address promotion work that has been conducted within sports venues, but will also survey studies in other areas of promotion that have relevance to sports promotion. Finally, potential avenues for sport communication scholars in promotion research and practical applications for network executives and programmers will be outlined.
Kay Biscomb, University of Wolverhampton
Stories of Identity
The role sport and physical activity plays in the construction of identity has already been previously acknowledged by researchers (Henderson, 1994; Sparkes, 1998). The methods by which identity construction has been explored has recently been challenged with the notion that narrative and autobiography are appropriate paradigms to explore this phenomenon (Sparkes, 2000; Tsang, 2000). This paper outlines the use of narrative as a means of analysing identity amongst Sports Studies students. Tsang (2000) was used as benchmark to question the nature of validity and explore what is data in qualitative research. Over a period of five years Sports Studies students were asked to write their own story of their experiences in sport, PE or physical activity. The stories that have been gathered over the years are analysed to determine the process by which individuals reveal their identity through narrative. Themes of marginalisation, importance of significant others, competition and the transitional nature of sport emerged. These themes are explored through an interactionist framework and are used to unpack the process through which identity in these groups is formulated and exposed.
Gary BE Boshoff, University of the Western Cape
South African Rugby in Turmoil and the Rise of the “New Outsiders: Race, Ethnicity and Commercial Interests
The growing domination of South African rugby by commercial interests in recent years resulted in the formation of new figurations across racial, ethnic and political boundaries. These “New Outsiders” unseated the incumbents and effectively ‘took control’ of the South Africa Rugby Football Union (SARFU). The expected marginalization of smaller provinces ensuing from a proposed new competition structure forced individuals and groups from disparate backgrounds into alliance. However, their leverage is tempered by ‘interdependency chains’ that bind them to the other figurations. Though the proposed new competition structure served as catalyst for the present turmoil, support was quickly forthcoming from groups within the bigger provinces who sighted lack of transparent management structures, lack of political will to effect fundamental transformational change and the apparent neglect of amateur rugby, as justification. The author uses Norbert Elias’ Established-Outsider Theory to explicate the interdependent nature of the different figurations, the power chances of the “New Outsiders” and the potential implications for the organizational structure of SARFU. Twenty senior rugby administrators from the fourteen affiliated provinces of SARFU were interviewed to collect additional data for the study.
Joseph M. Bradley, University of Stirling
Soccer, Scots, Scottishness and the Irish Diaspora in Scotland
The Scotland international soccer side is for many people the sporting epitome of Scottishness. Partly reflecting this perceived reality is the role played by the Scottish media in promoting and articulating Scottishness. Narratives used by members of the Tartan Army, the name given to those who follow and support the Scottish national team, as well as the Scottish print media and other soccer followers, also reflects the relatively coherent view that exists of Scottishness within the confines of Scotland’s soccer environment. However, other identities that exist within Scottish football, particularly those within an ethnic Irish context, encounter a varying experience as a result of their ‘difference’. Using excerpts from interviews with members of the Tartan Army supplemented by a review of print media sources this paper reflects on the contestation of identities that exists within Scottish soccer.
Sean Brayton, University of British Columbia
Bringing Da 'Hood to the Hill: (Un)Critical Pedagogies of Whiteness?
Snowboarders were once the outlaws of alpine leisure. Yet within a short period, impresarios of the ski industry received an economic epiphany over these mountain rebels. A growing demographic of affluent White youth, eager to differentiate themselves from their parents and their parents’ sports, proved to be a very lucrative market. And while snowboarding is now a billion dollar business, it nevertheless retains its renegade image by adopting a White fiction of urban Black masculinity. This reliance on gangsta sounds and fashion, however, conceals the overwhelming whiteness of the sport’s representation. An unavoidable idiosyncrasy remains: the music and fashions originating from inner city boroughs (like Brooklyn) now co-exist with White affluence on the slopes of North American bourgeois culture–a social scene historically excluding Black individuals. And so it seems, at the level of representation, that blackness haunts the White imagination. White culture desires an affinity with blackness (channeled through style and music) but a comfortable distance must remain. Aesthetically, the ‘hood may be brought to the hill, but the riders remain as white as the snow. This points to a political economy of multiculturalism in general, and a fiction of “blackness” in particular.
Dana Brooks, Ronald Althouse and Damien Clement, West Virginia University
WVU: Local Economy to "Beast of the East"
The purpose of this paper is to describe conditions leading to the integration and/or lack of integration of sports at West Virginia University. Analysis of sports at WVU and its unique geographical location represent the intersection of race, gender, culture, and sport status (i.e., clubs, revenue, non-revenue). The racial integration of varsity sports at WVU followed a slow and uneven path. Integration of the two primary revenue sports (football and basketball) took place in the early 1960’s, while non-revenue sports’ integration occurred in the late 1970’s. From 1891 to 1963 all WVU football players were Caucasian. It was not until 1963 that WVU recruited two African American football players: Roger Alford and Dick Leftridge. Basketball at WVU was established in 1903-1904. The first African American male basketball players on the freshman team were Jim Lewis, Ron Williams, Ed Harvard, and Norman Holmes (1964). Today, several varsity level athletic teams have yet to award a varsity scholarship to an African American male or female athlete. Since 1891, no African American male or female has held the titles Head Coach or Athletic Director.
Robert S. Brown, Ashland University
9/11 and the Shift in Rhetorical Strategies of Sport During Crises
Since President Roosevelt issued his "Green Light Letter" after Pearl Harbor, Sports have found reason to continue play in the aftermath of significant American social crises. Throughout WWII, the assassination of President Kennedy, the attempted assassination of President Reagan, the start of the Gulf War, etc, political and sport leaders have argued that society would be aided by the continuation of sporting events. These arguments resonated throughout society and formed the basis for many "play or not to play" debates, but the games always went on, with the addition of appropriate on-field symbols to communicate appropriate "healing” messages. After 9/11, there was a significant shift in sport policy and justification. While political leaders still suggested the games should carry on, sports leaders, while still promoting the "healing" powers of their games, now argued that it would be inappropriate for their leagues to continue after a crisis. This paper traces the growth and sudden shift in sport policy and the rationalization of sport as a source of healing messages for American society.
Toni Bruce, University of Waikato and Belinda Wheaton, University of Brighton
Representing the Nation: Transnational Appropriations
In this paper we analyse how the media in two different countries claimed Sir Peter Blake as representative of the nation after his unexpected death in 2003. Our focus is on the ways that Blake was appropriated and (re)presented by the media in both England and New Zealand as 'one of us'. An exploration of the similarities and differences in how Blake was represented in each country points to culturally specific understandings of the national character and provides a strong case study of the ways in which the media (and through it, the nation) draw upon available resources to create national fictions of identity and belonging.
Allison Butler, New York University
“Girls are Powerful”: Young Women, Meaning Making and Athletic Bodies
This presentation focuses on the social role played by young women who self-identify as athletes and how they understand themselves through their sport activities. Within American culture, sport is dominated by men literally on the field as well as in larger theoretical discussions of sport. A central tenet of sport is its intimate, inextricable connection to competition which, it will be shown, is coded as a masculine endeavor. The data in this research comes from interviews with teenage girls who self-identify as athletes and queries how they understand themselves as individuals developing in patriarchal culture. How do adolescent girls understand themselves as athletes and as young women within sport culture? What role does their physicality and self-perception play in their athleticism? As athletes, these young women are in-touch with their bodies; how is this relationship understood and made manifest? Looking through health, wellness and boy image, what is the relationship between sport and young women in body development?
Ted M. Butryn, San Jose State University
“We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal?”: Media Portrayals of Latinos in the WWE
As Jhally and Katz (2002) note, although World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) programs are consistently among the highest rated cable television shows, the WWE has been subjected to relatively little academic scrutiny. While there has been an increase in the research on the meanings and representations of Latina/o athletes, particularly within American sport (Jamieson, 1998, 2003; Juffer, 2002; Klein, 2003), little attention has been focused on the connection between the WWE and Latina/o characters and fans. Therefore, in this paper I draw from critical sport studies, cultural studies, and Latina/o and Chicana/o studies, as well as various media sources, including televised events, internet fan sites, and a WWE produced documentary in an effort to critically examine (McDonald & Birrell, 1999) the media portrayals of Latinos within the WWE. I focus specifically on how the framing of current champion, “Latino Heat” Eddie Guerrero, works to perpetuate racist stereotypes and xenophobia in ways that are different from previous representations of minorities in professional wrestling. The current WWE narratives involving Latinos are situated within the “real” political landscape of American tensions over immigration, language, and what counts as “American.” Finally, the WWE’s marketing aimed at Hispanic audiences is discussed in terms of the discourse on the commodification and consumption of racial and ethnic stereotypes.
Michael L. Butterworth, Indiana University
Towards a Rhetorical Theory of Sport in Democratic Culture
Scholars in sociology and cultural studies long ago recognized the extent to which sport reflects, maintains, and produces the values of a given culture. Meanwhile, communication scholars only recently have begun to contribute to this intellectual landscape. This essay suggests that sport is a meaningful site of cultural production that mandates attention from communication critics. More specifically, the argument provides a framework for viewing sport as an ideal model for theorizing an agonistic approach to democratic culture. Agonism asserts that meanings and decisions are negotiated through contests over symbols. The results of these contests are contingent, fluid, and temporary; thus, a turn to the tradition of rhetoric provides the means by which contests can be engaged. Because agonism strives for maximum inclusion of voices and participation in a democratic society, its application to sport—often considered an ideal institution of democracy—yields an appreciation for the triumphs and limits of democracy in the United States. In turn, a rhetorical approach to the study of sport provides a valuable lens through which sociologists and cultural theorists may view the symbolic terrain of sport.
Hart Cantelon, The University of Lethbridge
Corporate Branding and Municipal Boosterism in Canada
The 1998 Mills Report (SPORT IN CANADA: Everybody's Business Leadership, Partnership and Accountability) recognized the importance of sports sponsorship as an important advertising tool for companies to promote their enterprise or products. Among the Report recommendations was the creation of a governmental marketing advisory board to promote sport sponsorship. The Report also saw the hosting of major sports events as an important vehicle to demonstrate “the vitality of sport in Canada in terms of both athletes’ development and economic spinoffs” (Section 5). While such objectives may be laudable, they need to be grounded in empirical research. Does the private sector engage in sponsorship to develop and enhance a national or international (global) advertising image? Is it interested in cultivating corporate nationalism? Are there substantial economic spinoffs to communities that host mega sports events? I wish to reflect on these issues using empirical research solicited over the past two years. Specifically, information gleaned from 40 plus private sector interviews, with companies that have an on-going sponsorship policy of partnering with Canadian sport; personal involvement in writing a bid application to host the 2009 Universiade in the city of Edmonton, Alberta.
Michael Cantelon, University of Alberta
Where You From?: Canadian National Identity and High-Performance Sport
Sport in Canada at all of its various levels (eg. recreational, child or youth sport, competitive, professional etc.) has included both overt and hidden ideals geared towards the governance of both the sport itself as well as its participants. This governance also extends beyond the sport explicitly as many see sport as a way to reinforce societal norms and mores. Indeed, sport has been espoused as a site for moral, physical and mental development as well as inculcating feelings of national identity and a sense of belonging to the 'nation' at large. However, sport does not play out in a vacuum and participants do not come to sport as a homogeneous group, rather they are, what Shogan (1999) refers to as 'hybrid athletes'. That is, they are first and foremost athletes but they can be further defined with regards to 'race', sexuality, gender and class. This complicates the issue of social governance in sport, as many participants do not fit neatly into popular conceptions of what an athlete is or even what it means to be a Canadian. This paper will draw upon two major sporting events both inextricably linked to the Canadian sporting psyche, the 2004 Olympics and the World Cup of Hockey, to discuss the links between national identity and sport within the Canadian context. Further, the paper will address the issues surrounding those who do not fit into the narrow confines of popular stereotypical views of what it means to be a Canadian.
Ben Carrington, University of Texas
Keynote Panel: (Post)Identity and Sport
“Merely Identity?”: Cultural Identity and the Politics of Sport
The extent to which the claim to identity and the rights of recognition underpin or undermine progressive politics has been a central part of critical discussions on culture since the 1980s. More recently some have suggested that 'identity politics' has itself gone too far, leading some commentators to argue that we are now in a putative post-identity situation. Within the academy this position has been articulated from two divergent
positions. The first, emanating most clearly from what Spivak has called the conservative Left, derides 'identity politics' as a movement away from materialist struggles and suggests further that Leftist politics concerned with challenging forms of social inequality has been undermined by what is sometimes referred to as the 'cultural turn'. Identity politics, for the conservative Left, is either not political enough, or more often political
in the wrong way. The second position argues that identity politics, often mis-labelled as political correctness, is at fault for being over-political, for reading politics into every aspect of knowledge production and therefore is blamed for the movement away from detached forms of social scientific endeavour towards political, interventionist activism. I want to argue that rather than perceiving identity to be in contradiction to questions of
inequality that it is in fact a necessary, although not sufficient, precondition for any effective oppositional politics. I further suggest that attempts to caricature identity politics as a manifestation of political correctness, is itself an operation of institutional power within the academic field of sport sociology. To this end I argue for an explicitly politicised form of cultural studies that interrogates the speaking positions of those who argue for a 'return' to the good old days of sport sociology 'before identity' and that instead centres identity as a constitutive process of becoming that is the necessary basis for any (cultural) politics.
Eric Carter and Yolanda Gallardo, Kansas State University
Moving Toward Social Change: A Durkheimian Analysis of Anomie in the NFL
This working qualitative study describes and analyzes the perspectives and perceptions of current and former National Football League players regarding the effects of sudden change, wealth, and power. The theoretical framework of this study is Emile Durkheim's (1951) conception of anomie. The research design involves in-depth interviews and personal conversations with current and former NFL players. This research will have implications for looking at ways to promote positive social change in NFL player's lives, NFL communities, and the entertainment/sports industry.
Thomas Carter, University of Wales, Newport
Socialist (?) Sport and the Nation in Contemporary Cuba
For forty years, Cuban sport has represented the best that the Revolution had to offer. Since their ascension to power, Cuban leaders have made use of sport as a legitimating tool to emphasize the “Cuban” nature of their revolution. Using ethnographic data collected in the late 1990s with interviews and field work at subsequent international competitions, this paper looks at how Cuban sport has, in practice, moved away from socialist ideals even as the country’s athletes continue to represent the socialist state. The post-Soviet era in Cuban sport reflects the overall uncertainty faced by all Cubans. Sport remains one of the three “triumphs” of the Revolution along with health care and education in increasingly tumultuous times for Cuban society. The economic crisis forced Cubans to find novel solutions to economic situations as all state owned industries were required to become self-sufficient, including all sports programs. In response, sport officials began to expand their economic horizons, essentially turning Cuban sports into an export commodity. Coaches and athletes are contracted through a state-owned business to work overseas. I examine the contradictions that emerged from this situation resulting in the insertion of socialist sport into the field of capitalist–based sport, with an emphasis on the national sport of baseball, and how this affects the construction of a sporting Cuban nation.
Jayne Caudwell, University of Brighton
The Femme and Football: Queering Femininity, Queering Football?
Within sporting imaginary the figure of the butch has a haunting and evocative presence. She is often understood as ubiquitous especially in team sports that are legitimised through practice and display of traditional masculinity. To date, academic study has gone some way to establishing woman-masculine-lesbian as a re-claimed and normative identity. In some ways this work has made 'butch' safe and liveable for some women. Given the documentation of the actual or imagined presence of the butch the paper aims to make visible previously obscure sex-gender-desire footballing subjectivities. The purpose of the discussion is to capture incidents within football contexts that challenge and resist female lesbian masculinity. These moments are analysed in relation to queer and queer theory. Analyses seek to problematise queer and contribute further to the troubling of sex-gender-desire as it functions within a specific sporting context.
Robert Chappell and Daniel Burdsey, Brunel University, London
Stacking in Sport: Towards a More Sophisticated Analysis
Since Loy and McElvogue’s (1970) pioneering research, numerous studies have been conducted in an effort to explain the phenomenon of stacking, that is the segregation of ethnic minorities into non-central positions in certain team sports. Traditionally, non-central positions are characterised by manual dexterity or physical attributes rather than leadership qualities. Research in the United States (US) in football, basketball and baseball has consistently confirmed that the majority of group players typically occupy central positions while minority group members occupy peripheral positions (Berghorn, Yetman & Hanna, 1988; Margolis & Piliavin, 1999; Smith & Leonard, 1997). Researchers have also investigated this phenomenon in professional sports in other countries including English basketball (Chappell, Jones, & Burden, 1996), English soccer and rugby union (Maguire, 1988, 1991; Norris & Jones, 1998) and English cricket (Malcolm, 1997, 2002). Despite 30 years of research, several methodological inconsistencies exist even when researching the same sports. These inconsistencies make comparisons between studies difficult to make. One area in which inconsistencies exist is the methods used for determining ethnicity or “race”. For example, past researchers in basketball and baseball in the US consulted press brochures in order to determine these traits. According to Berghorn et al. (1988, p. 108) such data permitted “a visual racial identification of the players (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian or native Indian)”. This paper suggests that more sophisticated criteria should be used in order to determine ethnicity. This is exemplified in the research of Chappell and Karageorghis (2000). Finally, it is contended that with an increase in mixed-ethnicity, ethnic categories will become increasingly obsolete, and research on stacking will eventually become impossible to undertake and perhaps irrelevant (Burdsey, 2003).
Jodi H. Cohen, Bridgewater State College and Tamar Z. Semerjian
California State University
Finding Space: Negotiating Trans-Identity Within Sport
Transgendered identified athletes often find themselves negotiating with sport governing bodies to find and occupy spaces where they can participate and compete safely and comfortably. For some transgendered athletes, sport is a space where they feel strong and powerful, and for others sport is a transgressive zone where access is limited and there is an absence of teams where they feel that they can belong. This paper explores interviews of transgendered athletes, discussing their experiences in sporting communities, the ways in which these individuals struggle against, or work within the gender binary, and how this impacts their sport participation. Both queer theory and, more recent, trans-theoretical perspectives are employed in this analysis. Transgendered athletes’ participation in sport potentially disrupts socially constructed gender as a binary system, and confronts sport organizations reliance on essentialist notions of biological sex, which leads to confrontation of the anxieties presented by transgendered athletes’ participation. This project does not limit itself to an exploration of individuals’ experiences, but also engages in a discussion of the ways that power structures, particularly sport organizations, along with the legal and medical communities, work to regulate, discipline, and define sex and gender.
CL Cole and Alex Mobley, University of Illinois
American Steroids: Using Race & Gender
In the past, the U.S. has displaced or found ways to conceal the use of performance enhancing drugs among its athletes while charging others, most specifically Eastern Bloc athletes, with steroid-induced performances. Last year, Richard Pound and the World
Anti-doping Agency publicly challenged America's representations of its drug-free athletes and itself as leading the war against drug use in sport. In this paper, we consider the deeply raced and gendered assumptions that have shaped the US government's attempts to manage an ensuing public relations crisis. Most specifically, we
consider how guilt was displaced onto specific athletes through individually profiling stereotypically racialized and gendered performances.
Connie Collier, Mary Ann Devine, Ellen Glickman, Mary LaVine, Mary Parr, Kimberly Peer, Katherine Newsham, and Theresa Walton, Kent State University
Competes (Challenging Obesity: Media Powered Experiences To Engage Students)
A collaborative team of faculty representing five distinct disciplinary perspectives (physical education, exercise physiology, leisure studies, athletic training and sport studies) within the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport (SELS) at Kent State are in the initial stages of developing a technologically and pedagogically based project to create an integrated learning environment for students across the disciplinary divides inherent in a multidisciplinary unit, such as SELS. COMPETES is a multi-stage project with the goal of constructing and implementing interactive multimedia cases applicable across the SELS curriculum to enhance student learning. COMPETES will substantially change the way students learn by focusing on the prevalent problem of obesity using a student centered pedagogy. The multimedia cases will provide students and instructors with a pedagogical context to critically analyze real world problems that are ecologically valid and possess complex layers requiring multidisciplinary solutions. The cutting edge technology supporting these cases will allow students time and space to safely analyze and interpret problems that have immediate, practicable consequences for our community. Initially, we will use the theme, or context, of obesity to present a variety of theoretical perspectives. These perspectives will contribute to the development of essential knowledge and strategies graduates can use in their professional endeavors to mediate this national health concern. In so doing, a conceptual model for integrating technology and scaffolding content will be developed. This conceptual model will serve as a prototype for developing other themes within SELS that may be useful to other disciplines across campuses. For example, nutrition, human development, and family studies may wish to use the resources we develop to integrate their own perspectives related to obesity, while sport sociologists could use a similar framework for examining any number of social issues related to sport.
Cheryl Cooky, University of Southern California
"Girls Just Aren't Interested in Sports": The Construction of (Dis) Interest in Youth Sport
Critical feminist sport scholars have examined how gender is structured through youth sport leagues, particularly through the separation of boys and girls (Messner, 2000; Theberge, 2003). Part of a larger dissertation projection, this paper explores how the structure of a youth sport league, Girls Play Los Angeles * (GPLA), (re)constructs ideologies of gender and sport that posit girls’ participation as secondary to that of boys’ participation. Through qualitative research (fieldwork, participant observations, and interviews with girls, coaches, recreation site directors and the Director of Gender Equity for the LA Department of Recreation and Parks) at two sites in the Los Angeles metropolitan region, this paper will show that the structure surrounding sport, as constructed by the recreation center staff, coaches, parents and peers, has a tremendous impact on shaping the sporting experiences of girls in the league. Rather than viewing girls’ interest or disinterest in sport as emerging solely from the individual or personal preference, I have found that the ways in which the site itself is structured interacts with and helps shape the girls’ interest in sport. It also impacts the ways in which adults in the league come to understand girls’ participation and (dis)interest in sport. * GPLA is a low-cost league targeting low-income, urban girls between the ages of 13-15 who would otherwise not be playing sports. GPLA emerged as a result of the out-of-court settlement of the Civil Rights case, Baca vs. the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and as such it is designed to provide more opportunities for urban girls.
Maxine Craig and Rita Liberti, California State University, Hayward
Learning to Lose Curves: Examining Discourses on Women's Fitness
With over 7,000 franchises in the United States and a dozen other countries around the world, Curves Fitness Centers for women have seen tremendous growth in their first decade of existence. The Curves 30 minute workout is targeted and appeals to middle aged women, in part, through empowerment rhetoric. Curves markets its franchises as inclusive, female-centered, non-competitive, supportive, and empowering communities whose purpose is to support female health. We seek to examine the emancipatory potential of this rhetoric through the use of participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and textual analysis of Curves publications. In their descriptions, women contrasted Curves to other gyms and classes in which isolation, competitiveness, physical difficulty, and emphasis on appearance were demoralizing. Despite the emergence of multiple discourses, we argue that far from liberating, Curves reproduces, rather than resists, restrictive and finite notions of femininity and health. Progress and success within Curves is defined and quantified by body surveillance strategies, including the preoccupation with weight loss and size reduction. We argue that in place of a genuine community Curves produces a feeling of community grounded in the member's shared dislike of exercise and mutual discomfort with their bodies. Curves contributes to women's alienation from their bodies by promoting psychic fragmentation of the body into good and bad parts and substitution of quantitative "truths" for sensual knowledge of the body.
Jane Crossman, Lakehead University and John Vincent, The University of Alabama
Cross-National Comparisons of Newspapers' Gendered Coverage of Wimbledon 2004
This study will compare how selected broadsheet newspapers from three countries cover female and male tennis players competing in the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. From Canada, The Globe and Mail; from Great Britain, The Times; and from the United States; The New York Times will be examined. Content analysis will be used to compare the amount and prominence of the coverage devoted to female and male tennis players in all articles and photographs during the 16-day period coinciding with the Wimbledon Championships fortnight (June 20 - July 5, 2004). A combination of two-tailed independent t-tests and a 3 x 2, (newspapers x gender), multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) will be used to determine statistically significant differences. An alpha level of .05 will determine statistical significance. Drawing on Connell's (1987, 1993, 1995) theory of gender power relations, textual analysis will be used to compare recurring themes in the coverage of female and male tennis players and examine how the gendered coverage intersects with nationalism. The results and their implications will be discussed from a cross-national perspective.
George B. Cunningham, Texas A. & M. University
The Relationship between Actual and Perceived Gender Dissimilarity
Relational demography research has consistently indicated that persons demographically dissimilar from others in a group have poor work experiences. Recently, authors have proposed that the relationship between dissimilarity and work outcomes is mediated by perceptions of being different. However, tests of this linkage are lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between actual and perceived gender dissimilarity. Data were gathered from 171 assistant coaches of university track and field teams. Bivariate correlations indicated that actual gender dissimilarity was strongly related to perceptions of such differences (r = .60). Moderated regression, followed by simple slope analysis, indicated that gender was a significant moderator of the relationship between actual and perceived dissimilarity. Contrary to the nonsymmetrical hypothesis, the effects of being different were stronger for women than they were for men. Results are discussed in terms of theoretical contributions to relational demography research.
George B. Cunningham and Michael Sagas, Texas A. & M. University
Access Discrimination in University Athletics: The Case of Men’s Basketball
Access discrimination is concerned with limitations ethnic minority group members encounter that are not related to their actual or potential job performance. This discrimination occurs at the time the job is filled (e.g., rejection of applications, limited advertising of positions) and prevents members of a particular group from entering a job, organization, or profession. The purpose of this study was to examine the representation of ethnic minorities in intercollegiate coaching positions. Data were gathered from 191 NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs. Results indicate that Caucasian head coaches were more likely than African American head coaches to have Caucasian assistant coaches on staff, and vice versa. Results further indicate that the proportion of African American assistant coaches (33%) was significantly less than the proportion of potential African American coaches (48%). Further, the ethnicity of the head coach moderated this relationship, as African Americans were significantly underrepresented on the coaching staffs of Caucasian head coaches (29%) but not African American head coaches (49%). It is suggested that the key to mitigating access discrimination is for coaches and administrators to realize the value of diversity and the importance of a diverse workforce on the ultimate effectiveness of the workgroup and organization.
Tim Curry, Ohio State University