While Ruminating About Self and Activities . . .
Identity politics. This is the first time I’ve used that term. It’s not that I am unfamiliar with the term or some of its uses. On the contrary, I’ve become quite acquainted with it through discussions with, or listening to discussions by, colleagues and students. It’s also a term that appears in a number of my readings. Yet, I have avoided it like the term, “political correctness.” And, like the term “political correctness”—in its popular usage— identity politics is often invoked contemptuously. I suppose, here, I should set the context for my understanding of, and feelings about, the concept identity politics. Years ago, I was engaged in a debate with a “scholar” about race and sport in America. Having thought I had made an important point (and I will admit, I was probably enjoying the moment a little too much), I was accused of identity politics. The point was that my political position was tied to my racial classification. Suddenly, nothing I had said was a result of my willingness to interrogate ideas (or historical “facts”) and come to a non-traditional or unconventional conclusion. My position was determined by “race.” My colleague, of course, did not indulge in identity politics because he was “race-less” (and perhaps in his mind “class-less” and “gender-less”) for only those who are concerned with race, class, and gender oppression have race, class and gender status. I don’t mean to argue that there is no connection between race, class, gender and one’s political position. Certainly, social movements are mobilized by leaders’ ability to identify collective concerns based on one’s class, gender, ethnicity or race (to name a few identities). By way of example, leaders of the Black Power Movement sought to identify the structural and cultural barriers “Afro-Americans” faced, and appeal to “Black pride” as a way to organize a large segment of the population to contest their largely, societally-imposed predicament. But, to argue that race determined one’s position regarding this movement is to miss out on the considerable variation in peoples’ perceptions and practices. African American communities, churches and families, like (and likely more than) others, were divided about this movement. In addition, many older African Americans were more resistant to the movement than some of the younger ones. This is but one example of how identarian political claims can be too deterministic. To quote Mostern’s paraphrase of Stuart Hall, “while a cultural pattern of articulation may exist between various subject-positions and various political statements, this relationship is arbitrary, conforming to no objective conditions of social enforcement” (1999, p. 7).
Louis Harrison, Jr. and Leonard Moore, Louisiana State University
The Integration of LSU Athletics
As a national powerhouse in a range of sports, LSU student-athletes serve as the primary ambassadors for the university. It is common to see 92,000 fans cheering in Tiger Stadium, 15,000 fans going crazy in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and thousands in the stands at the Bernie Moore Track Facility routing for their beloved Tigers. While the fans are overwhelmingly White, the vast majority of the athletes in revenue-generating sports are African-American. Although south Louisiana is arguably the most unique region in America with its mixture of African, Anglo, French, and Cajun, cultures, and African-Americans make up over 30% of the state’s population, LSU still managed to keep African-American athletes out of competition until the late 1960s and early 1970s. Even then, Black student-athletes were brought to campus in such small numbers that it amounted to nothing more than tokenism. This paper will discuss the integration of LSU athletics in the 1970s and in particular it seeks to explain why LSU was one of the last schools in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to integrate. We will examine both the internal and external forces that paved the way for the integration of LSU Athletics.
Mike Hartill, Edge Hill College of Higher Education
Sport and the Sexually Abused Male Child
In 1990, Struve claimed, “a growing number of clinicians who work with sexual abuse are discovering that males probably are sexually victimized just as frequently as females” (p.3). Despite research on the ‘sexually victimized’ male reaching back over the last 20 years, researchers in sport have, so far, largely ignored the issue of the sexual abuse of males. Researchers, generally of a feminist or pro-feminist persuasion, have tended to work within the confines of the ‘male perpetrator-female victim’ paradigm and have largely ignored a significant body of work on the sexual abuse of males. Through feminist research, the issue of child sexual abuse has been driven onto the agenda of sports organisations resulting in significant practical reform. However, the flip-side to this positive impact is that the experience of sexually abused males has been largely ignored and inadvertently silenced. This paper discusses the sexually abused male in the context of prevalence, severity, frequency, location, under-reporting and under-identification. It will also discuss the issue of female perpetrators. In our pursuit of an environment where all children are safeguarded, research in, and analyses of, sport, must reflect the complex nature of child sexual abuse, including the experience of male children.
Michelle Helstein, University of Lethbridge
: (Mis)Recognition, Gendered Desire, and Sport
As the Calgary Flames, of the National Hockey League (NHL), progressed through the playoffs and into the NHL Stanley Cup Championship Final excitement and support for the team exploded in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. One of the manifestations of this excitement was the trend to ‘flashing’ which began on Calgary’s bar lined 17th Ave where fans gathered in huge numbers to watch games. Pictures of the willingly exposed breasts of everyday fans (almost exclusively women) began showing up on various internet pages, and before long the pictures had been compiled at a professional quality website called . This presentation will explore this cultural manifestation of fan identification (of both those flashing and those looking) as a site of (mis)recognition. The articulations between desire, gender, sexuality, and sport as they relate to this site of identification/(mis)recognition will figure prominently in this discussion of .
Michael Hester, Georgia State University
Reagan’s Presidential Sports Encomia: Responding to the ‘Foot Race’ Metaphor
President Lyndon Johnson employed the metaphor of a ‘foot race’ in his effort to sway public opinion in favor of his civil rights policies. His rhetoric not only contributed to passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but successfully framed (how?) the federal government’s role in society would be viewed for the next two decades. Not until the presidency of Ronald Reagan was this viewpoint effectively challenged. While previous scholars have noted that the success of the Reagan Revolution required the articulation of an alternative to LBJ’s ‘foot race’ metaphor, none so far have examined the most overt examples of the political-sports connection in presidential address – White House ceremonies honoring sports champions. In both his choice of which sports champions to invite to the White House and the content of his commemorations, President Reagan’s sports encomia can provide key perspectives into the communicative strategies employed during the Reagan presidency to counter both the ‘foot race’ metaphor and the subsequent federal approach to civil rights. Rhetorical analysis of presidential sports encomia offers not only insight into the Reagan presidency, but more generally allows scholars to more comprehensively understand the manner by which government leaders invoke sports rhetoric for political gain.
Leslie Heywood, SUNY, Binghamton
Shifting the Lens: Athlete Commentary on How Media and Gender Inform Their Sport Experience
New research on female athletes’ experiences in sport demonstrate the ways gender as it is articulated through that experience has come to be understood by the athletes themselves in ways that are no longer characterized by the binaries male/female; masculine/feminine, or even straight/gay. Instead, sex, gender, and sexuality exist on a continuum. This research shows that while media may create its version of gender in hegemonic, traditional ways, women’s actual experiences in sport are very different, and the notion of gender as a continuum is much more commonplace within the athletes’ own self-assessment than has been previously described. While women might internalize media messages on one level, these messages do no represent the totality of their experience or understanding of that experience. Nor do their communities expect them to act out traditional femininity. Instead their sport participation is a source of such fundamental praise that playing even “masculine” sports is part of a normative context in which sport and the “masculinity” associated with it was a highly valued social identity. If the media is selling heteronormative femininity as the requirement for female athletes, clearly those athletes and those around them are not buying it.
Catriona Higgs and Betsy McKinley, Slippery Rock University
Explorations in Learning: Interdisciplinary Collaborations in Teaching Diversity
This presentation will focus on the collaborative efforts between two faculty members in a Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) program and a Sport Management program to design a Diversity course for PETE and SM majors. The value of using interdisciplinary methods to teach diversity, the process of designing an experiential diversity class, and the benefits of utilizing strategies from two different disciplines to plan and teach course material will be explored. Further, strategies that assist PETE and SM students in embedding diversity and social responsibility throughout all aspects of teaching and management will be highlighted. Particular emphasis will be placed on the value of utilizing constructivist strategies to teach and apply shared theoretical and pedagogical diversity issues in two disciplines.
Dan C. Hilliard and Alexandra O. Hendley, Southwestern University
Celebrity Athletes and Sports Imagery in Advertising during NFL Telecasts
In this paper we investigate the contribution of advertising to "the sports-media-commercial complex" (Messner, Darnell & Hunt, 2000, p. 391) through content analysis of 1525 commercial messages contained in a sample of 15 National Football League games from the 2003 season. Games were sampled across four networks and throughout the regular season and playoffs (excluding the Super Bowl). We focus particular attention on ads utilizing a sports setting, employing sports imagery (either visual or verbal), or including a celebrity athlete. Approximately 21% of ads in the data set used a sports setting in a significant way, while nearly 30% employed sports imagery; however, only about 10% of the ads included a celebrity athlete. A simple but significant finding of the research is that sports settings, imagery and celebrities are frequently used to advertise sport itself -- future sports telecasts, sports clothing, sports video games, and even public service announcements serving as public relations for the NFL. We discuss in detail the way sports settings, imagery and celebrity are used to advertise non-sports products. We consider how gender and race are connected to sport in these ads, and drawing on our analysis we speculate about the relationships among advertising, sport, and American culture.
Laura Hills, University of Durham, Queens Campus
‘Subversive Behaviour’ and The Negotiation of Gendered Physicality
The presence of an ideological and institutionalised gender binary remains a key factor influencing understandings of female physicality. In particular, the association of particular forms of physicality with masculinity continues to influence sporting experiences and represents a continuing challenge to defining a subject position for the female sportswoman as agentic and empowered. Analysing the influence of gender binary thinking involves the identification of social practices that serve to create, maintain, disturb and disrupt gender divisions rather than the assumption of difference as a starting point. This presentation will draw on McNay’s interpretation of Bourdieu’s work to explore how girls negotiate understandings of gender within the context of potentially contradictory social fields such as home and school and mixed gender and gender segregated contexts. Empirical data from research in a mixed comprehensive school in the Northeast of England will be used to explore the contested meanings of gendered physicality in relation to institutional discourses and practices and girls’ embodied subjectivities. Issues identified as key to engaging in ‘subversive behaviour’ that challenges the gender binary in sport include embodiment, the heterogeneity of girls’ experiences, the discrepancies between institutionalised discourses and practices and individual experiences, and the continuing problematic of defining female physicality.
Margery Holman, University of Windsor
Harassment, Gender and Power Relations in Canadian University Sport
Recent research has shown that respondents continue to experience harassment and abuse in the sport context (Fasting, Brackenridge, & Sundgot-Borgen, 2003; Kirby, Greaves, & Hankivsky, 2000; Kirby & Greaves, 1997; Tomlinson & Yorganci, 1997). Previous research has investigated the experiences and perceptions of athletes but there has been sparse examination of the perceptions of coaches. Further, with the perception that sexual harassment has been managed through education and policy (Holman, 1999) the issue of harassment has assumed a new image. The purpose of this presentation is to share the responses of a cross section of Canadian Interuniversity Athletics coaches to the nature of sexual harassment within current athletic programs. Further, it will examine the perceived effectiveness of policy and educational strategies that that have been introduced over the past several years to provide an environment free from harassment and discrimination for all organizational members.
Barrie Houlihan, Loughborough University
A Framework for Comparative Analysis of Sport Policy
The paper examines competing strategies for undertaking comparative analysis of sport policy. Following a brief review of the limited comparative literature on sport policy the paper explores the theoretical basis for comparison. Three broad approaches to comparison are identified and evaluated: rationalist, structuralist and culturalist. In seeking a framework of analysis that provides a balance of emphasis on structure and agency the paper examines current typologies of policy systems and reviews two meso-level frameworks - institutional analysis and the advocacy coalition framework as potential approaches to comparison. The paper continues with a discussion of the impact of globalisation and international sport policy regimes on comparative sport policy analysis. The paper concludes with a suggested approach for undertaking sport policy analysis.
P. David Howe, University of Brighton
Epistemology and (Ill) Health: Lay Knowledge and the Elite Sporting Body
This paper examines how elite athletes develop an epistemology of their bodies that enables them to traverse the fine line between health and illness. It will argue that this lay knowledge of the elite athlete’s sporting body is constructed through the habits and practices of training, through innovation and through absence. Lay knowledge is developed without/apart from the scientific knowledge associated with conventional medical training. Lay knowledge of the (injured) body is used to both question scientific/ medical knowledge and to make informed/discerning choices about the utilisation of medical treatment when illness in the form of pain and injury occur. Lay knowledge of the sporting body needs to be taken more seriously in the prevention and treatment of injury among elite athletes. The paper concludes by arguing for a better dialogue between the two types of knowledge.
Jeremy Howell, University of San Francisco
Corporate Philanthropy and Social Responsibility
Despite the current corporate crisis facing the United States, there do exist corporations with strong leadership, governance, transparency and integrity. There are businesses that value the worker and respect the environment. And, in arguably the most publicized measure of good citizenship, there are corporations that have a strong philanthropic investment in their communities. But, should we follow Milton Friedman’s argument that the only role of business should be to increase corporate profits, where philanthropy is the right of individual generosity rather than any corporate mandate. Or should we argue that the corporation has a moral and ethical responsibility to enhance the lives of the community out of which its profits have been generated? If so, should philanthropy be a peripheral value, part of a loosely defined goal of increasing community health, employee morale, customer goodwill and positive publicity? Or should philanthropy be a core part of the business strategy, embedded into the daily practices of the corporation? This presentation focuses on these philosophical questions via a case study of a new corporate philanthropic program instituted by Western Athletic Clubs Inc., owner of eleven athletic/sports clubs on the West Coast of the United States. Since 1990 the corporation has been wholly owned by Atlantic Philanthropies, a charitable and philanthropic foundation created by Chuck Feeney. Named by Business Week in 2004 as “one of the top philanthropists of our time,” Feeney believes that good models of corporate philanthropy are “important and necessary for our society’s welfare” and encourages a philanthropic model of “giving while living.”
Amy S. Hribar, Montana State University
Sporting Metrosexuality: Sport, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary America
Since being coined by British author and satirist Mark Simpson in 1994, the term "metrosexual" has gained a particular currency in popular and consumer culture. Interestingly, the term did not gain widespread usage in the US until 2002 when Simpson used the term to describe gender bending fashion conscious British soccer player David Beckham. In this paper, I seek to understand the discourse around and use of the term metrosexual in the realm of sport in contemporary America. I begin by tracing the creation, deployment, and popularization of the term and ask how the notion of the metrosexual operates in sport, what it encourages us to consider about sport, gender, and sexuality, and what it elides, particularly when contrasted with the gender-bending behavior of former NBA star Dennis Rodman.
Robin Hughes, Oklahoma State University and James Satterfield
The University of Texas, El Paso
Athletisizing Black Athletes: The Social Construction of Black Student Athletes
This study explores how African American student athletes are perceived at a Research Extensive, Division One college campus by their peers, faculty and staff. It grew out of a compelling need to understand the dynamics that contribute to assigned “athletic” meanings to Black male athletes. We refer to this process as “athletisizing”, and it is used to describe the processes, people, and institutions that contribute to the athletic construction of African American student athletes. In this study, race matters to Black students who are not athletes. However, according to Black student athletes, race is insignificant—and the jersey matters.
Emese Ivan, University of Western Ontario
Comparative Perspectives on Continuity and Discontinuity in Hungarian Sport Policy
Since the fall of communism in Hungary it has generally been agreed that the rapidity of changes in the country's political, economic and social life would include and affect the Hungarian sport system: it would generate solid shifts in its goals, strategies, and policies. This presentation would like to give an overview of these developments. The analysis rests on three contextual premisses:1)the timing of the liberalization and democratization processes; 2) the significant impact of globalization; 3) the specific features of the Continental integration process. The analysis would like to conclude answering the question: to what extent Hungarian sport policy has been able to follow its historical path or/and to make rational choices for its future developments.
Steve Jackson, University of Otago
Dawn of the Living Dead: Advertising, Sport and Commodifying the Past
In their bid to globalize transnational corporations (TNC’s) and their allied promotional industries utilize a diverse range of strategies and synergies in order to insert into, and locate within, local/national cultures. Amongst their strategies TNC’s invest in a range of powerful and innovative advertising and marketing campaigns. However, the pressure to attract and retain potential consumers as well as to distinguish brands has lead to a compulsive search for new images and themes with the consequence that culture has become a giant mine where no meaning system is sacred (Goldman & Papson, 1996). While various shock tactics such as sex and violence have become commonplace another increasingly popular strategy is that of drawing on the past. As such the advertising industry has been engaging in the use of nostalgia, memory and the appropriation of history. This paper is a preliminary examination of the commodification of one particular aspect of the past: death and the deceased. The paper highlights some of the implications of such practices in relation to a range of moral, ethical, social and legal issues.
Katherine M. Jamieson, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Delia D. Douglas, Independent Scholar
A Farewell to ReMember: Interrogating the Nancy Lopez Farewell Tour
In March of 2002, Nancy Lopez formally announced her retirement from the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour (LPGA). To commemorate her retirement, Nancy played in 14 tournaments between June and October 2002. This paper focuses on media accounts of the Lopez Farewell Tour in order to examine the cultural meaning and significance of her career through the varied racial projects that occurred in response to her departure from the LPGA. As a Mexican woman of working class origins, Nancy Lopez has negotiated a variety of social/cultural positions—as a devoted daughter, mother, wife and professional athlete. The occasion of her retirement allows for the interrogation of a number of competing and contradictory discourses regarding the themes of race and citizenship, mothering, and the LPGA’s preoccupation with het(sexuality), athleticism and femininity.
Janelle Joseph, University of Toronto
Capoeria: A ‘Mixed Race’ Game of Resistance (?)
This presentation elucidates the controversy inherent in a Brazilian martial art’s (mis)appropriation by mainstream (mediatized, commodity) culture and its subsequent democratization in twentieth century Brazil and Canada. Autochthonous capoeira reflects African slaves’ visions of a utopia, where ‘work’ does not exist and a man of any age, colour or ability can compete and gain respect through outsmarting his opponent. The ginga (capoeira’s fundamental movement) is embodied resistance, the movement of a people prohibited from action, in bodies that knew only toil, torture, pain, and persecution. Through transplantation to Brazil’s upper classes and overseas to Western nations, capoeira has lost its nature as a game/fight/dance of resistance against slavery. Current values of the sport/ game/ fight/ dance/ martial art increasingly reflect commodified performance, regimented training, and skill specialization, common features of many ‘modern’ sports, yet it simultaneously may provide an ‘alternative sporting lifestyle’ representing resistance to a mainstream focus on hostile competition, physical domination of opponents, and scoring. The work of bell hooks can be used to explain capoeira’s growing popularity in western nations where fantasies of self-transformation through contact with the more exotic, intense, seductive, funky, athletic and entertaining Other can be achieved through integration in a community of capoeiristas.
Janelle Joseph, University of Toronto
Media Representations of Gender and Physicality: Women’s Martial Arts
Attention to mediatized sport and the inherent issues of physicality, sexuality, and dominance increases our understandings of the dynamics of power that underlie contemporary gender relations. The study of men’s and women’s differential physicalities (i.e. types of physical activities pursued, uses of the body within those activities, and meanings attributed to body comportment and skill) as presented in the media reveals a socially constructed weak, passive, female body and a model of sport/fitness for women that discourages large stature and rough physical contact between athletes. The male sporting institutions encourage the opposite, “bulking up” with weight training and domination of opponents during the game. These constructions leave women in a vulnerable position, as they have been taught to be non-threatening, inactive, and defenseless. Images of women in martial arts movies or in positions where self-defense is necessary may help to encourage women to develop healthy relationships with their bodies, learn appropriate reactions to physical violence, and discover their true capacities for power and strength. On the other hand, these media images of ‘empowered’ women may actually reinforce dominant notions of women’s role in society, relations with strangers, acquaintances and intimates thereby maintaining their assault and rape risk.
Cindra S. Kamphoff and Katherine M. Jamieson, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Critiquing the Pedagogical Practice of Service-Learning in Sport Sociology
This poster presentation offers an analytic snapshot of student experiences in a service-learning-oriented undergraduate course in sociology of sport. The authors present evidence of student-learning as well as survey data regarding student beliefs about the usefulness of service-learning for content knowledge and professional development. This intentional pedagogical practice of service-learning provides students with a means of applying critical sport sociology while contributing to the local community. This presentation also offers a critique of service-learning as pedagogical practice that meets curricular needs versus a pedagogical practice that meets community needs.
Peter Kaufman, SUNY, New Paltz
Biting the Hand that Feeds You: Athletes Against Sweatshop Labor
A recent issue of Sports Illustrated identified the richest athletes in sport. Besides just listing the salaries of the athletes, the magazine broke down the athletes' earnings into two categories: salaries (which included winnings) and endorsements. For many of the athletes, the endorsements far outweighed their salary. This is not too surprising given that Nike alone recently indicated that it spends $1.44 billion on endorsement deals with athletes. If we add Adidas, Reebok, Fila, and all of the other athletic apparel companies into the mix, the numbers are truly astonishing. Equally astounding are the reprehensibly low salaries and horrendous working conditions that the workers of these companies endure as they toil away making the products that the multi-million dollar athletes endorse. In this paper, I examine the connection between athletes, athletic companies, and sweatshop labor. Using both first-hand interviews and newspaper accounts of athletes speaking out against sweatshop labor, I argue that all athletes at all levels of sport have an ethical responsibility to use their social, economic, and cultural capital to improve the rights of workers around the globe.
Tess Kay, Loughborough University
Sport, Fatherhood and Family
As ‘family’ has become a highly contested concept in academic, policy and popular discourses in westernised societies, so too have the associated notions of ‘parenting’ and ‘fatherhood’. To date some aspects of this broader debate have been reflected in gender analyses in sport, but to a limited extent and mainly with an orientation towards women. Despite the growing interest in the relationship between sport and masculine identity, analyses of men’s experiences of sport have rarely been situated in the family context. This paper draws on multi-disciplinary perspectives to examine the meaning of father’s involvement in their children’s sport in the context of changing expectations and conditions of family life. Adopting a social constructionist framework, it locates analyses of fatherhood and sport in relation to change and diversity in family roles and relations. The paper uses the findings of a small-scale exploratory qualitative study of fathers (n=8) with active involvement in their child/ren’s sport to examine the extent, nature and reasons for fathers’ engagement in children’s sport, and the ideologies of fatherhood that underpin it. The paper concludes by evaluating the potential of sport as an analytical focus for understanding the nature of contemporary fatherhood and family life.
Lisa Kikulis, Brock University, Lisa Kihl, University of Minnesota, and Lucie Thibault, Brock University
Deliberative Democracy and the Canadian Sport Policy
The 2002 Canadian Sport Policy, endorsed by governmental sport ministers, was developed following an extensive consultative process aimed at giving stakeholders a voice in the policy process. Public policy development has displayed a shift toward citizen participation and the literature has engaged in debates over various models and success of the deliberative process, however there has been little empirical investigation of the implementation of the principle of deliberative democracy. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to present an empirical investigation of this deliberative process. We focus on how deliberation was defined, who was included and why? What are the consequences of this choice for the implementation of the policy? Our exploration of the Canadian Sport Policy process uncovered a focused stakeholder consultation process where the governments assisted some individuals and organizations with similar concerns to assemble and find creative solutions. While this process reflects the shift toward public participation, the intended cohesive process came at the expense of inclusion as many citizens were excluded from discussions and had their interests denied. Additionally, we explore the application of deliberative democracy as a framework for analyzing the Canadian Sport Policy process and citizen participation.
Kyoung-Yim Kim and Geneviève Rail, University of Ottawa
Belonging/Be-longing Canadian: Minority Stereotypes and Canadian-Korean Adolescents' Construction of Health and Fitness
In North America and internationally, the literature on the understandings of health and physical fitness among adolescents is extremely limited even if such understandings seem to be the key to improve health and fitness programs for them. So far, the studies from Australia and New Zealand have found that young people conceptualize primarily in terms of beauty and the appearance of their bodies. This finding has been linked to Western discourses on the body and their solidification within media representations of youth. Dominant health and physical fitness discourses, however, do not reflect the realities of marginalized youth in general, and of young Asian people’s lives and dispositions in particular. This study focuses on the way in which young Canadian-Korean people read cultural and educational messages about health and fitness, and construct their own understandings of health and fitness. We use grounded theory for our analysis of in-depth conversations with 11 Canadian-Korean adolescents. Our results show how these young people appropriate elements of dominant health and fitness discourses and construct themselves as un/fit or un/healthy subjects within them. In addition, we suggest that stereotypes related to Asian minorities in North America impact on constructions of health and physical fitness. Finally, we note the circumstances linked to the exercise of an “ethnic” identity and the associated resistance shown by young Canadian-Koreans vis-à-vis already gendered and racialized health and fitness discourses.
C. Richard King, Washington State University
Chiefs, Warriors, and Racists: Indianness in Recent Sport Documentaries
This paper critically analyzes the representation of Indianness in three recent sport documentaries, “Chiefs,” “Lady Warriors,” and “They call me Chief.” These award-winning films tell stories which are at once profound, powerful, and localized, stories about the Wind River Indian High School basketball team’s quest for a state title, seven Hopi and Navajo teens trying to defend a cross country title, and the careers of First Nations hockey players in Canada respectively. In many ways though, they tell the same story. All stress the importance of tradition in a changing world, the unfairness of prejudice, and the significance of individual dreams of athletic success. Reading these films together, in light of the much acclaimed “Hoop Dreams,” and in the context of the ongoing colonization of Native America, it argues that despite efforts to offer sympathetic, even sensitive, portraits of indigenous athletes, they actually reinforce prevailing understandings of racial difference, cultural conflict, individual achievement, social power, and the liberatory promise of sport
Takahiro Kitamura and Masashi Kawanishi, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Japan
Weekend Youth Sports Programs in Japanese Community
Almost all high schools in Japan have sports clubs. They are divided by sport and students can belong to them depending on their interests. These school sports clubs are called “Bukatsu”, and it has played a very important role for youth sports participation in Japan. 73.9% of junior high school students and 49.0% of high school students belong to these clubs. However, the declining birth rate means a decline in the number of high school students. This results in a declining number of students who belong to the clubs. For this reason, it is becoming difficult to create a team and consequently, many school sports clubs have ceased to exist. On the other hand, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology announced a Basic Plan for the Promotion of Sports in 2000. It recommends creating at least one comprehensive community sports club in each municipality nationwide by 2010. The development of a connection between community sports clubs and school sport or physical education programs is also examined. The purpose of this presentation is to report on the current status of Japanese local youth sports programs and consider the issues for the important future.
Annelies Knoppers and Anton Anthonissen, University of Utrecht
Discourses about Diversity: Gender and Ethnic/Race Subtexts
Dominant discourses about sport participation include those that construct sport as a site for equal opportunities and those that construct certain masculinities as physically superior to all femininities and marginalized and subordinated masculinities. The growing importance attached to sport in the Western world may mean that its discourses influence those outside of the context of sport participation. The extent to which such discourses overlap with, challenge, and reinforce discourses about diversity in leadership and managerial work in sport organizations has received relatively little scholarly attention. In contrast, the lack of demographic diversity in leadership and management positions in sport has been well documented. In this paper, we explore discourses about diversity used by White men in these positions in sport organizations. Specifically, we explore the ways in which meanings given to gender, race/ethnicity and sport are embedded in their discourses about diversity and their work.
Robert L. Krizek, St. Louis University
(Re)Considering Sport as Communicative Organizing
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 organizing. Integrating such interdisciplinary research serves to illustrate the multiplicity of ways in which communication organizes—and subsequently shapes—the experience of sport.
Holly Kruse, University of Tulsa
Media, Marketing, and Matters of Memory: Sport and Seabiscuit
Scholars have in recent years rediscovered the concept of memory as a useful tool in understanding culture and social life. Yet the relationship between individual memory and a posited "group" memory is often left substantively unexamined, and terms like "collective memory", "popular memory", and "social memory" often are deployed by scholars but unaccompanied by precise definitions that account for concrete processes of memory and make clear connections between the individual and the social. Laura Hillenbrand's recent book Seabiscuit: An American Hero and the resulting movie provide excellent examples to use in asking what exactly is "memory," and for whose memories do we account, in what ways, and to what ends? In its attempts to use the movie to market its sport, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), has drawn on collective representations of horse racing's past and found that the perceived authenticity of accounts is highly contested terrain within and outside of the racing world. In addition, George W. Bush recently called Seabiscuit "a great book about America," demonstrating that at this moment, during a perceived crisis of national security and perhaps national identity, currently popular versions of the Seabiscuit story provide "more meaningful ground for construction and contestation" (Spillman, 1998). The role played by "memory"–memories experienced by individuals inside and outside of racing in the late 1930s, "memories" purveyed through the media at the time and today, and "memories" created in social structures – has implications for "Seabiscuit" as a marketing tool for horse racing and as a dominant national memory. This paper is a focused study of the relationship between the problem of individual memory, and of the social and cultural production of memory, and practice.
Kyle Kusz, University of Rhode Island
Interrogating the Politics of White Particularity in Dogtown and Z-Boys
Using critical contextual analysis, the paper examines the representational politics of whiteness in the popularly acclaimed skateboarding documentary, Dogtown and Z-Boys. Following the work of Savran (1997), Wiegman (1999), and Robinson (2000) each of whom point out how the marking and particularizing of White racial identity have been recurring representational strategies employed in the late 1990s to disavow and deny the existence of whiteness and White privilege (and thereby protect and re-secure White privilege), this analysis illuminates how the film's form and content construct a White identity for the Z-Boys that attempts to authenticate its disaffiliation from whiteness and White privilege in a variety of ways. This paper is timely considering sport sociology's recent interest in entering the interdisciplinary dialogue of what has come to be known as 'whiteness' studies (see SSJ's call for papers for a special issue on whiteness studies, as well as, King & Springwood, 2001; Kusz, 2001; Long & Hylton, 2002; McDonald, 2002). Finally, this analysis argues that the extreme sport athlete and sport-related films are vital, yet often overlooked, cultural sites integrally involved in contemporary racial politics, particularly efforts to recuperate White normativity and supremacy.
John Lambert, University of Brighton
A Values Based Approach to Coaching Sport in Divided Societies
Depending what values it is laden with, sport can either foster harmonious relations between peoples or generate conflict. Thus, in deeply divided societies, simply getting rival communities to play more sport does not guarantee that conflict resolution and co-existence will follow. To achieve the latter, the meanings attached to sport and the teaching and learning styles used need to be appropriate to peace related objectives. Football for Peace (F4P) is a sport-based co-existence project for Jewish and Arab Children in Northern Israel. One of its distinguishing features has been the development of a specialist football (soccer) coaching manual. Through a carefully designed series of practical coaching activities, this manual emphasises, animates and embodies a series of values that promote fair play, cooperation, mutual understanding, and aid the cause of conflict prevention and co-existence. This paper outlines the development of this manual, identifies its key features and, drawing upon empirical studies carried out in the UK and Israel in 2004, critically evaluates its efficacy.
Jason R. Lanter, Miami University
Fear the Turtle or the Fans? Editorials on Fan Behavior
Since February 2000, the University of Maryland has experienced multiple instances of celebratory violence following victories and defeats in intercollegiate athletic competition. These events occurred both on-campus and in the local community following games by the football and men’s basketball teams. The debate over this celebratory violence has raged ever since in the student newspaper as students, alumni, and campus administrators have written editorials espousing their opinions on this new phenomenon on campus. The purpose of this investigation is to examine the support and criticism for celebratory violence in these editorials. Will students be critical or supportive of other students’ actions during celebratory violence? How do alumni feel about this new trend of celebratory violence? Has the administration altered its perception and concern over celebratory violence over the past four years? Is the outcome of the game, win or loss, an important factor in these editorials? The last four years of editorials from the Maryland student newspaper, The Diamondback, will be examined to answer the above questions. The goal of this study is to provide a deeper understanding of the cultural context in which celebratory violence is both embraced and condemned – by whom, when, and why.
David Leonard, Washington State University
“Is this Heaven?” Whiteness, Hollywood and the Sports Imagination
It is not difficult to see the centrality of whiteness to the genre of sports films. All one needs to do is go to , type in “sports films” and you will be besieged by lists of the “greatest American” sports films, all of which are about White athletes. America’s love affair with these films cannot be understood outside the cinematic hegemony of whiteness as well as the relationship between race, sports and the American historical imagination. Holding whiteness and, thus, the complexities of race under erasure results in partial, if not faulty, understandings of the genre of sports films, and the dialectical underpinnings between sports, race, and the American imagination. This paper accepts the task of exploring this genre, paying particular attention to the ways in which these films conceive a world of sports as a space of White dominance, thereby inscribing the positive or desirable values onto White athletes. Focusing on Hoosiers, Rudy and Miracle, this paper demonstrates how the genre of White-centered sports films represents a powerful discursive field of racialized meanings, necessitating textual, contextual and subtextual analysis. In extracting cues of whiteness, this paper attempts to make the familiar unfamiliar, to challenge the process of naturalization imbued onto categories of whiteness, through a critical interrogation of the genre of White-centered sports films.
Don Levy, University of Connecticut
Constructing Reality: The Active World of Fantasy Sports
Although many scholars have seen sport fans as passive recipients of dominant cultural messages, those that engage in fantasy sports are active and involved fans. Still, these fans assume an active function within a social context not initially of their own making. This research explores the construction of a fanship habitus, that is, a set of practices, cognitive structures and perceptual tendencies that develop interactively both for individuals and across groups based upon both socialization and initiative. Through participant observation and intensive interviews, the phenomenon of fantasy sports is used as representative of active sports fanship. This research simultaneously explores the tendency of sports fanship to promote abstraction, rationality and positivism while at the same time forging unintended interpersonal connections among fans.
Leo E. Lewis, Minnesota Vikings and S. Malia Lawrence