State University of West Georgia
NFL Players’ Career Perspectives from 1994 to 2003
The purpose of this study was to explore the career perspectives of National Football League (NFL) players. The scope of this inquiry focuses on two different surveys that were administered to NFL players, one in 1994 and the other in 2003. Upon completing both the surveys, Professional Athlete Status Questionnaire (PASQ: Lewis, 1994) and Player Development Survey (PDS: Lewis & Harrold, 2003) participants were specifically prompted by researchers with an open-ended question (Patton, 2001) in efforts to discover the primary concerns of the players. With regard to the PASQ (1994) three major themes emerged from participants’ (n=112) responses: Big Business, Many Avenues & Opportunities, and Need Help! With regard to the PDS (2003) five major themes emerged from participants’ (n=97) responses: Sky Is The Limit, Financial Concerns, Blessed Beyond Comparison, Post-Career Life Adjustments, and Physical Demands. Based upon the individuals who volunteered to answer the question, results revealed that player attitudes about their careers in 2004 focused more on personal issues and less on the relationships with the League and the Players Association. Current trends and player development goals in the NFL will be presented. Demographical information from participants’ will also be revealed.
Margaret MacNeill, University of Toronto
Keynote Panel: (Post)Identity and Sport
Identity, Representation and Critical Media Studies,
Identities are fluid, slippery and central to political attempts to redress inequality. Over the past few decades the issue of identity has been taken up in contradictory ways in both scholarly debates and political struggle. My initial attraction to the field of sociology of sport was sparked by the possibility of redressing sexist media representations in fitness and sport media. A critical cultural studies approach has been central to all my work and recently has been adapted to include poststructuralist and postcolonial approaches. As a student of Gruneau, Kidd, Beamish, and Cantelon, my under/graduate work and research as a junior prof was heavily influenced by the Gramsican turn in media and critical cultural studies (CCS). Thus, the CCS approaches of Hall, Johnson, Hebdige, Willis, and McRobbie figured centrally in my fitness media and sport media research – particularly concerns for deconstructing dominant hegemonic ideologies about gender and nation, unearthing capitalist media labour processes, and speculating about audience positioning, interpellation and resistance. Within our field, the pioneering work of Hall, Hargreaves, Fasting, Lenskyj, Theberge and Vertinsky have also been focal to the development of my feminist approach, while broader media scholars like Jhally, Ang, Morley, and Whannel are some of the many scholars that have influenced my media research. Engagement with groups like Promotion+, Media Watch and CAAWS has allowed me to address gender inequality and mediated identities through research and activism. The constructivist phase of my early work was implicated in pressuring Canadian media to increase the amount and type of coverage of women’s sports, eliminate the “babe cam” from CBC programming, contribute to Olympic press kits, to offer athletes’ rights and media skills workshops, and to change the editorial policy of Shape from a diet to a lifestyle orientation. A major limitation of my applied studies – which attempted to combine political economic scrutiny of the media and feminist cultural studies -- include rendering issues of race, ability, sexuality and class invisible. More recently, I have become intrigued with cultural studies as transformative practice using the radical contextualism of Ang in media ethnography, feminist poststructuralist approaches (e.g. Butler, Davies, Weedon, Hutcheon) and post colonial approaches to explore difference, identity and power (e.g. Jiwani, Bhaba, James, Razack, Mojab, Gilroy, and hooks). My earlier constructivist approach to ethnography foregrounded the research participants’ realist accounts of the sport/fitness-media-sponsor nexus as they experienced it. Following Davies (1982), I’ve shifted to problematize subjectivity and to locate my accounting of gender inequality along other axes of difference. Feminist post-structuralist approaches attempt to understand the processes through which the researcher, research participants and communities are subjected by social structures, relations and discourses, as well as constituted by them. Thus, I’ve shifted from issues of socialization to subjectification, that is, from an examination of shaping by the media to the ways in which people actively take up discourses to produce identities, seek pleasure and to tackle oppressive relations.
Margaret MacNeill and LeAnne Petherick, University of Toronto
Media, Youth Movement and Active Health Literacy
Knowledge is produced, mediated, refused, and resisted within various relations of power both inside and outside the classroom (Giroux, 1992). In this paper we ethnographically explore youth readings of popular media representations of health and activity by adapting critical pedagogy with feminist media studies and recent approaches to health literacy. This framework permits an exploration of the lived cultures of contradictory health messages marked by race, gender, class and ability. We consider how multi-mediated knowledge, desires and identities reciprocally impinge on school-based experiences, knowledge and relationships. This paper is organized into three sections. Section one develops the notion of active media literacy. Section two provides a comparative case study of male and female grade seven to nine students’ understandings of health, fitness and active living garnered from physical education classes and the media. The final section will provide suggestions to help teachers meld critical pedagogy and active media literacy in health and physical education curriculum. We argue for the replacement of the traditional three “R’s” of education with the three “X’s” of active media literacy, that is, to examine, explain and actively express. Students can critically engage and transform their lived cultures by pursuing an active media literacy approach.
Joseph Maguire, Loughborough University
Local/Global Sport Advertising: Major Sporting Events
The paper situates the study of major sporting events within broader local/global processes, with specific reference to media and consumption (Maguire, et al., 2002; Miller, et al, 2001; Tomlinson, 1999). That is, the paper examines how a global mega-event, such as the Rugby World Cup, or the Olympics, plays out locally, (UK) and does so through the lens of the media-sport complex (Jhally, 1989; Puijk, 2000; Rowe, 1999; Toohey & Veal, 2000; Wenner, 1998; Whitson, 1998). In seeking to examine the interdependency between sport, consumer culture and advertising, attention is given to the nature of commodified sport, and the concomitant local /global politics of cultural representation, and identity formation, when expressed through and at such ‘mega-events’(Bairner, 2001; Bourdieu, 1999; Boyle & Blaine, 2000; Dauncey & Hare, 1999). Here, a study of magazine/journal coverage of the men's 2003 Rugby World Cup is undertaken - with evidence drawn from the UK, South Africa and Australia. In such a comparative analysis attention has to be given to the interdependence between: identity politics, contoured and shaped by national concerns, and, consumerism, advertising and marketing (Jackson & Andrews, 1999), contoured and shaped global/ local processes.
Lainie Mandlis, University of Alberta
Queering Boxing, Boxing Queer
Within Euro-Western culture ‘the boxer’ is popularly understood to be a specific ideal: young, Black, unintelligent, poor, uneducated, masculine, heterosexual and male. Discourse about boxing requires the boxer to be heterosexual. The homoerotic atmosphere in the ring paradoxically requires compulsory heterosexuality to allow boxing to be seen as a sport and not a potentially sexual encounter. The queer boxer disrupts this paradox, and creates unease in those boxers who do meet the standard. Homosexuality is not the only way to create unease within boxing discourse as it relates to identity. I use queer theory to disrupt the concept ‘boxer’ for all participants in the sport, not only those who self-identify as queer. I read the boxer as queer regardless of individual behaviour or self-identification. While the more traditionally queer individual has an important impact on the coherent identity boxer that is worthy of study, this is not my focus. To borrow Warner’s (1993) words, I wish “to make theory queer, not just to have a theory about queers” (p. xxvi). Thus my paper contributes both to an understanding of how queer theory can disrupt unified notions of ‘the boxer’ and through this open up queer theory to other identity interrogations.
Lainie Mandlis and Debra Shogan, University of Alberta
Who Is (Not): Canada, Culture and Boxing?
In North American popular culture, the meaning of boxing is solidified within a framework that suggests that boxing and maleness, as well as blackness, youth, poverty, a lack of education and intelligence, violent and unethical behavior are irrevocably linked. When the common understanding of what it means to be Canadian is White, male, hard working, honest, brave, tolerant, modest, polite, and law-abiding, and all Canadians, if they are in fact ‘real Canadians’, must be these things, ‘the boxer’, then, cannot be Canadian. ‘The Canadian boxer’ is represented as White, hard working, modest, polite, brave, honest, and violent only when necessary. As such, he has much in common with the myth of the Mountie. This paper explores how representations of particular Canadian boxers show the racist assumptions that are produced within the popular understanding of who is Canadian. By exploring representations of ‘Canadian’, particularly the Canadian Mountie in relation to representations of Canadian boxers, this paper shows both of these discourses to be racially problematic.
Pirkko Markula, University of Exeter
Writing for Oneself: Creating Ethical Practices for Women's Fitness
Women's exercise practices have often been justified by creating a scientific link to improved health. From a Foucauldian perspective, women's health in this discourse has become closely connected to the aesthetics of the thin body ideal. This connection locks individual woman into an endless quest for a "truly" healthy and beautiful body. Foucault points out, however, that as each individual is an active participant in the construction of dominant discourse, s/he also has an ability to change them. In this paper, I examine how one popular exercise form, Pilates, might act as what Foucault titles a practice of freedom that allows women to dismantle the dominance of the current health and fitness truth game. Foucault (1984) argues further that for any practice to act as a practice of freedom, it must be embedded in the ethics of the care of the self. In Ancient Greece, one way to learn the "art of living" ethically was to write hypomnemata that were types of individual account books serving as guides for using one's power ethically. My intention is to investigate how writing hypomnemata during a Pilates instructor training course could act as exercise through which one can train oneself to engage in the technologies of the self that have the potential to transgress the current scientifically constructed discourses of health, body, and fitness.
Courtney W. Mason, University of Windsor
The Games of Glengarry: Cultural (Re)production and Identity Politics in Rural Communities
In 1948, the Scottish Highland Games tradition was revived in Glengarry, Canada. The organizers of this festival chose to celebrate the Scottish cultural roots of this small agrarian community in Eastern Canada at a time when the Franco-Ontarian majority had finally achieved hegemonic dominance in economic and political realms of the county. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century the Glengarry Scottish Highland Games underwent a commercial and cultural renaissance that has contributed to, and benefited from, the growth and proliferation of Scottish cultural traditions as well as the crystallization of a regional identity. Initiated by the revival of the Glengarry Games, this cultural resurgence supported a Scottish cultural hegemony within this ethnically diverse county. Key individuals also created a buttressing network of Scottish cultural institutions, further augmenting the cultural impact of the Glengarry festival. Using archival resources and personal interviews, I explore how the revivalists and cultural producers of the Glengarry festival have (re)produced a particular, dominant understanding of Scottish culture in this unique rural region.
Fred Mason, University of Western Ontario
Making Meaning for the Audience Share: Non-Sport Advertiser’s World Cups
Instead of simply tying their products to World Cup 2002, non-sport advertisers remade the meaning of the event to parallel their level of sponsorship and global audience share. Mastercard (a global sponsor) constructed the World Cup as a “global brotherhood” of soccer fans, almost without players. Panasonic (sponsor of U.S.A. soccer), turned the event into a celebration of American nationalism centered around the U.S. team and electronic technology. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s advertisements for its own coverage promoted ideals of Canadian multiculturalism, reshaping the event into a multicultural festival where hyphenated Canadians could support other countries, yet retain their Canadianness. McDonald’s Canada, sponsor only on Radio-Canada, the French language national network, stayed consistent with the network’s style and focused on Quebec. McDonald’s portrayed the World Cup as a future goal for young Quebeckers and constructed a corporate image of supporter of local communities and Quebec regionalism. Each of the advertisers reconstructed the meaning of the event, creating simulated World Cups to sell products or corporate images to their audience share. Such hyperrealities threaten not only the media reality of the event, but the elements of pageantry, nationalism and the carnivalesque that make the World Cup the global phenomenon it is.
Pellom McDaniels III, Emory University
The Role of the Boxer Joe Louis within Burgeoning African American Communities of the 1930's
This study explores a radical concept within collective identity development: the marquee conversational social actor or MCSA. Previous research has presented differing reasons why social actors act collectively: they define cognitively the field of perceived possibilities and limits while simultaneously maintaining productive relationships which seek the same outcome, or they are the result of the acknowledgment of a set of attitudes, commitments, and rules for behavior of a social movement organization (SMO). Both of these standpoints are challenged in this study of the impact and characteristics of the marquee conversational social actor the boxer Joe Louis during the conscious raising period for African Americans between 1933 and 1935. This analysis is based on data collected from various media sources, and includes a discourse analysis that recognizes the changes in language and symbols used to define African Americans’ leadership prior to 1935. The paper concludes by arguing that Louis, during the post depression, pre World War II and pre civil rights era, was the primary MCSA that influenced the relationships between the two oppositional groups, while simultaneously providing an effective schema for African Americans to achieve a successful collective identity.
Ian McDonald, University of Brighton
Sport and Revolution
Critical Theory, and Cultural Studies represent dominant strands of Marxist theorising in Sport Studies. While Critical Theory has been concerned with sport and social reproduction, Cultural Studies has tended to focus on sport and the politics of cultural identity and representation (albeit with social class denied any privileged status over other forms of subjectivity based on gender, ethnicity and nationality). However, advocates of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies have rarely raised the question of sport and its relationship to the revolution. This could be understood as a rejection of the possibilities and potentialities of the revolution itself. The other significant Marxist tradition is situated primarily outside the academy and is associated with labour movements and, presently, with the anti-globalisation movements. Fundamentally, this is an activist-Marxism, and is geared towards actualising resistance as part of a strategy to change unequal power relations and inequalities. However, even within this activist tradition, the critical issue of the relationship between sport and revolution has yet to be analysed. This paper begins by briefly charting the place of the revolution in the three aforementioned Marxist traditions. It then examines different aspects of the sport-revolution nexus posed by activist-Marxism. This includes an examination of the absent presence of sport in the revolutionary party; an overview of the fate of the institutions and cultural meanings of sport during the revolutionary process; and a critical review of the place of sport, and its relationship to the internationalism of Marxism, in a range of post-revolutionary societies.
PJ McGann, University of Michigan
Of Pucks and Men: A Queer Female Body in Naturalized Masculine Terrain
Sport is an arena that reflects and produces gendered identities and social relations, as well as cultural notions of gender. Team sports in particular are a central locale for the enactment and reproduction of masculinities. Many men construct their male/masculine identity by participating in team sports; such participation also constructs Men and masculinities as "naturally" superior to Women and femininities. Indeed, sport helps naturalize a gender order and sexual regime that empowers men over women, and that normalizes and privileges heterosexuality over queer desires. In this nexus female athletes are often seen as trespassing in male space, posing threats to both individual men and the gender order. What happens, then, when a female-bodied person competes with and against men? How do men react when beaten by "a girl" or "a dyke"? Based on two years of participant observation in adult hockey, this research explores how gender and sexuality are produced and disseminated at the rink, how institutions and individual men respond to the presence of a female body in the hypermasculine space of hockey, and the conundrums their various containment strategies create.
Colleen McGlone and George Schaefer, University of New Mexico
Initiation or Hazing: Recognizing Differences
The purpose of this presentation is to identify the differences between what constitutes initiation rites and what constitutes hazing. Hazing has increasingly been the focus of much media attention and is an issue that sport administrators will continue to face in the future. Sport Administrators will need to understand and be able to identify the differences between initiation rites and hazing. Initiation can be defined in several different ways, many of which introduce the elements of learning the secrets of a particular group society or team. One example, defines initiation as “the rite of introduction into a society, a beginning” (Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary, 2000). Initiation also incorporates the concept, that as part of the initiation process, the new members of the group need to be taught the various elements involved in being a part of the group. There is no universal definition of hazing. Merriam Webster defines hazing “as an initiation process involving harassment,” while Hoover (1999) defined hazing as “any activity expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.” These definitions show a very different notion from what is considered as initiation. By identifying the differences between the two behaviors, sport administrators will be better equipped to create new strategies aimed at curtailing activities that put athletes, athletic administrators and institutions at risk. Many strategies (other then hazing) can be utilized while building team unity. Most importantly, athletes should be advised of the differences
Lindsey J. Mean, Arizona State University West
(Re)Considering Sport as Communicative Enactment
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 enactment. Integrating such interdisciplinary research serves to illustrate the multiplicity of ways in which communication enacts—and subsequently shapes—the experience of sport.
Donald Meckiffe, University of Wisconsin Fox Valley
Dogtown and Z-Boys: Producing a Subcultural Past for a Mainstream Present
This paper takes the recent widespread popularity of skateboarding as a starting point to reconsider the concepts of mainstream and subculture. Rather than notions of appropriation, co-optation and resistance, I utilize the idea of “economies of exchange” (both discursive and economic) as a productive way to think about the relationship between marginal and dominant expressive cultures. In order to demonstrate the utility of the “economies of exchange” model, the paper focuses on the particularities, conceptualization, production, distribution and context surrounding Stacey Peralta’s Sundance-winning documentary and origin history of skateboarding, Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001). Supported by industry evidence and testimony from players involved in the project, I reveal how the counter-intuitive, convoluted and unpredictable mechanisms of contemporary commodification played out in this particular case. Key to the success of Dogtown and Z-Boys with the skateboarding audience is that it appears to have an expressive authenticity that sets it apart from a marketing film or X-Games promo. In order to understand contemporary forms of commodification my paper demonstrates that it is necessary to conceive of mainstream and subcultural locales as plural, always interdependent, both constantly trying to produce, struggle over and coordinate discourses that will pass for “authentic” with a skeptical audience.
Peter Mewett, Deakin University
Train Without Strain: Health and Amateur Athletes
An exercise in historical sociology, this paper investigates the association between training and health made by amateur athletes between about 1860 and WWI. It examines the idea that while exercise benefited a person’s health and well-being, excessive exertion caused potentially life-threatening ‘strain’. The paper sets out the interpretation of contemporary scientific knowledge about the body–which the author terms the ‘physiology of strain’–that underpinned the advice given to those undergoing a training program for amateur competition. The point is made that the imputed effects of exercise on health were deduced from this scientific knowledge; it did not derive from bio-medical investigations specifically addressing these issues. Amateur athletes included people drawn from the professionally educated elite and medical practitioners figured significantly among them. Using insights from Bourdieu and Foucault, it is argued that their social power and professional connections served to legitimate their interpretation of the physiological effects of exercise (denying the value of the training practices of working class professional athletes) and cemented the physiology of strain as a ‘factual’ statement about exercise and health until well into the twentieth century. The data for the paper comes from training manuals, medical journals and other contemporary publications.
Tamar Meyer, York University,
Trans/Feminist Sport Sociology: Applying Transgender Theory to the Sociology of Sport
This paper explores the recent and hotly contested IOC ruling allowing transsexuals to compete in the Olympic Games and argues that sport sociology needs to be improved upon to take into account the growing number of transgender/transsexual athletes. The application of trans/gender theory to feminist sport sociology extends beyond the trans community by challenging the hegemonic loyalty to the bi-polar gender system that dictates that males are stronger, faster and better athletes than females. Trans/gender theory will also allow researchers to imagine new athletic embodiments of “person”hood, take into account gender variant and intersexed athletes and foster an appreciation of a multiplicity of body types–from the strawweight to the heavyweight.
John Miles, University of New Mexico
"Whatever Happened to Frank Snake Church": Basketball in the Fiction of Sherman Alexie
Basketball's impact on American culture is immeasurable. The rise of the NBA and its unparalleled success within our culture calls into question its validity as a part of culture. Sherman Alexie's three collections of short fiction contain characters who play and watch basketball. In his fiction, basketball becomes a ceremonial and cultural icon. In my paper I trace basketball’s presence in Alexie’s fiction beginning with his first collection of short stories “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven”, I then trace its meaning and presence in “The Toughest Indian in the World” and “Ten Little Indians.”
Laura Misener, University of Alberta
(Re)defining Community: Sport and Civic Development Strategies
As cities struggle to find a place in the new global economy, sport has become a key strategic tool in urban development strategies. Many cities are attempting to (re)invent and (re)image themselves through the use of sporting events and professional sport franchises (Rosentraub, 1999). With cities continually evolving in order to compete to draw in capital, rigid conceptualisations of community and community development are no longer appropriate. In conjunction with this social, economic and political struggle for cities there has been the attempt to define what cities mean and subsequently whom cities are for. Communitarian theory describes how residents take on the responsibility of capacity building through active involvement in activities and participation within the community–thus becoming legitimate members of the community (Sites, 1998). Accordingly, this paper explores the use of sport as a strategic development tool and how this affects the notions of community identity and community development. While researchers have begun to explore the importance of civic (re)development, citizens who are affected by this process are often overlooked (Whitson & Macintosh, 1993, 1996). The marketing goals of global sporting organisations often conflict with the quality-of-life concerns of local populations. Local communities that play host to major sporting events are faced with changing social and political landscapes tied to the urban development strategies.
Jeffrey Montez de Oca, University of Southern California
The Body as Container: Biopolitics of the “Muscle Gap”
This paper looks at a moment of anxiety in the United States over the strength and fitness of its male citizens. Following the Korean War, concern over the physicality of American men was promulgated through the media. The dominant narrative of what was called “the muscle gap” held that the conveniences of modern society made American youth softer than European youth, and given the dangers of the Cold War “our boys” needed to harden up fast. And, if our boys could not get hard, they would lack the vigor necessary to defend the free world. Subsequently, both Eisenhower and Kennedy worked with leading athletic figures like Charles “Bud” Wilkinson to create national fitness policies such as the President’s Council on Physical Fitness that would target the population for a general increase in its health and fitness. The outcome of these cultural policies included greater funding and increased professionalization of physical education in the public education system, a national increase in fitness facilities, and greater national awareness of and participation in fitness activities. In effect, Cold War foreign policy imperatives led to a transformation in the culture of the United States in the area of health and fitness.
William J. Morgan, Ohio State University
Social Criticism, Moral Anti-Realism and Sport: Some Contemporary Cases
I argue that social criticism of sport always bottoms out as moral criticism of some or other feature of sporting conduct. But not all moral theory is conversant or compatible with social criticism. I sketch out an anti-realist moral account of sport, show how it is relevant to critical theory, and illustrate its utility using contemporary cases such as the ongoing debate about performance-enhancing drugs in sports, and moral debates between feminist takes on sport and certain ethnocentric Muslim ones.
Stephen D. Mosher, Ithaca College
Without a Soul: Lenie Riefenstahl's "Olympia" Reconsidered
The debate concerning Leni Reifenstahl'sOlympia has been waged for over 65 years. Universally acknowledged as a technically stunning achievement, the film was always defended by Riefenstahl as pure documentary without political motives. Most critics have argued that, if not a direct propaganda vehicle for the Nazi cause like Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will," "Olympia," nonetheless, emphasizes a simplistic and fascist point of view. This presentation will argue that a more accurate reading of "Olympia" will yield a consistent world view based on Riefenstahl's self-indulgent understanding of Greek mythology and expressed with a voyeuristic camera. In final analysis, "Olympia" is an aesthetic creation with no moral foundation, thus resulting in an objectively beautiful product that may be technically stunning, but has no human value.
Susan Mullane, University of Miami
The Infusion of Character Education into Youth Sport Programs
The need for character education programs in our schools is well documented and hardly debatable. Youth trends such as rising violence, bigotry, and hate crimes, increasing dishonesty, and bullying are prevalent in elementary, middle and high schools, and detract from the educational mission. Character education programs have enjoyed a recent resurgence in this nation at all levels, and successful implementation of these programs should be pervasive throughout the curriculum and in extracurricular activities as well. Given the values inherent in youth sport programs, such as honesty, integrity, mutual respect, teamwork, and sportsmanship, youth sports provide an excellent opportunity for incorporation of the ideals embodied by the character education movement. This session will examine the differences between the gamesmanship (winning at all costs) versus sportsmanship (winning the right way) models of youth sports, and will focus on the values that should be inherent in a successful youth sport program. The character education movement will be discussed, and practical strategies for its infusion into youth sport programs will be presented.
Tiffany Muller, University of Minnesota
Contested Spaces of Women’s Professional Basketball
Women’s sport space is a contradictory social venue where gender roles, sexuality, and citizenship are performed and reproduced. I propose that women’s sport space is a new site through which to examine social change. This is evidenced by a comparative study of two U.S. women’s professional basketball teams, in which I explore how participants in women’s sport space contribute to and challenge the dominant gendered and raced categories of these spaces, and how participants reflect and contest the contradictory ways these spaces are marketed. Additionally, I evaluate the potential for diverse understandings of sexual citizenship and the constitution of the public sphere to exist in these spaces. I will give an overview of this study, in which I use qualitative methods to bring together discourse analysis of women’s professional league marketing representations, with understandings of how league executives, athletes, and fans experience and construct meaning through sport space. As such, I consider through empirical case studies how women’s sport space is a contested terrain, produced by and (re)producing gendered and sexed social norms.
Rod S. Murray and Debra Shogan, University of Alberta
Wide Open Spaces: Canadian Identity via Multiculturalism and Sport Policy
The past several decades have witnessed several projects/government programs designed explicitly to help build the Canadian nation. Pierre Elliott Trudeau believed that "sport is important for the way Canadians see themselves" (Burstyn, 2000). Thus, we witnessed an increase in funding for high-performance sport leading up to the now infamous 1988 Olympics. For Trudeau, sport policy was simply one resource to help increase federalism in the face of growing Quebec separatism. Under the same project of nation-building, critics of official multiculturalism (Mackey, 2002) argue that aboriginal and multicultural issues have also been used frequently to combat dissention between Franco- and Anglo-Canadians, often pitting Indigenous-Canadians versus French-Canadians in the process. In either scenario, what can be shown to result is the creation of open spaces for racism and cultural intolerance (articulated often by the likes of Don Cherry) instead of the tolerance and unity claimed as the objectives of these government policies. This paper will show how both Multiculturalism and Sport Policy reinforce a dominantly White-Anglo Canadian identity and subordinate and marginalize Other-Canadians.
Mark S. Nagel, Georgia State University and Daniel Rascher, University of San Francisco
Redskins: Legal, Financial, and Policy Issues Relative to Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc.
On October 1, 2003, Judge Colleen Koller-Kotellay issued a ruling finding there was insufficient evidence to decisively conclude that the name “Redskins” was disparaging to “American Indians” (Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc., 2003). This judgment overturned a 1999 United States Patent and Trademark Office decision that had revoked the National Football League’s Washington Redskins’ exclusive right to the use of the term “Redskins,” trademarked by the team in 1967. The pivotal issue, according to Koller-Kotellay, was the amount of time that had intervened between the granting of the trademark in 1967 and the plaintiff’s initial lawsuit in 1992. Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc. raises many questions that will be the basis for the panel discussion: a) In light of Harjo, what is the legal threshold for determining legitimate contempt and/or disrepute? b) Under the Theory of Latches, when is it too late to file a trademark infringement complaint? c) What are the stakes in this case for the Redskins and the NFL, from both financial and policy perspectives? d) How much longer will the Washington football team be able to “circle their corporate wagons” against the converging social, legislative, and judicial forces in today’s society?
Yuka Nakamura, University of Toronto
Entering the Gym Class, Entering Whiteness: Exploring Female Physical Education Teachers’ Subjectivity
In 1997, the Toronto Board of Education published guides for teachers “designed to provide basic information about the diverse ethnic groups, cultures and religions” in the student body. The first in this series focused on Muslim students and included information about the Muslim community, religion and issues within the curriculum. This paper critically examines this guide, relying on Orientalism and notions of whiteness, to illuminate the guide and the Muslim Other’s productive function in the construction of teacher identities as ‘sensitive,’ ‘good’ teachers. Secondly, previous research that explores female physical education teachers’ experiences is read in parallel with this Orientalist relationship. In doing so, I suggest that, in their attempt to attain subjectivity and personhood, it is particularly ‘easy’ for female physical education teachers to make a colonial gesture and slip into performances of whiteness.
Csaba Nikolenyi, Concordia University and Emese Ivan, University of Western Ontario
Characteristics of the Transition - A Case Study of Hungary
Many theorists have long emphasized the importance of civic society and voluntary organizations as vital to the lifeblood of democracy. Interest in this topic has been revived by Putman's theory of social capital claiming that rich and dense associational networks provide the social foundations for a vibrant democracy. The authors would like to give an analysis of the structural changes in the Hungarian social capital during the transition period of the country—with a particular focus on the role played by sport and recreational associations—and to present the existing alternatives for social classes during this process.
Howard L. Nixon II, Towson University
Integration, Disability and Sport: Past and Future Research Directions
Participation in disability sport, especially at the elite levels, such as the Paralympics, has grown in recent years. Nevertheless, participation by people with disabilities in sport remains relatively limited, and significant obstacles to fuller participation persist. Research in sport sociology about disability and sport has also been limited. This paper proposes integration as a useful lens for increasing our understanding of disability, sport and society. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to convey our current understanding of integration, disability and sport and suggest future directions for sport sociology research in this vein. The concepts of appropriate, inappropriate, genuine and social integration are emphasized. Connections among them are proposed in the context of different models of sport for people with disabilities, which are distinguished by the structural characteristics of the amount and type of inclusiveness or access, disability modification or accommodation, sport classification, competitive intensity and direct or indirect competition between participants with disabilities and able-bodied participants. One of the broad questions discussed and posed for further investigation is how appropriate integration of people with disabilities in various types of disability and mainstream sport influences their social experiences in sport and their social integration in the larger society.
Svein Ingve Nødland and Nils Asle Bergsgaard, Rogaland Research/ Telemark Research
”Sport for All” Policy: A Cross-Country Comparison
“Sport for all” has for decades been on the agenda of governments and sport organisations. In contrast to elite sport development, however, there are no evident and fairly uniform objectives that the governments and the sport community go for–like medals and championships. The aim of this paper is to describe and discuss to which extent different countries adapt similar or different motivations, objectives and means in this field of sport policy. The country cases which are studied are Canada, England, Germany and Norway. Are “Sport for all”- policies subject to processes of globalisation and unification, or is it rather a question of national idiosyncratic processes? After a description and comparison of the situation of the different countries, we will in the paper discuss how differences with regard to the organisation of sport, sport policy structures, and the general political and administrative system have an impact on how sport for all is developed as a policy area.
David Nylund, California State University, Sacramento
Have a Take: Masculinity and Sports Talk Radio
My paper is an examination into sports talk radio in order to understand the appeal of the genre and to examine some questions it raises for masculinity. Through interviews with production staff, an analysis of the content of sports radio programs, and hanging out in sports bars with fans of sports radio, my study seeks to 'make sense' of this cultural phenomenon. My research was particularly interested in the gendered and commercial character of sports radio, and the implications they have for the way we understand capitalism, masculinity, and sports fandom in the (post)modern world. My paper will suggest that sports talk radio is am ambivalent text that both reinscribes hegemonic masculinity while subverting some traditional notions of manhood. Some of the fissures and contradictions in sports radio will be theorized including its civic potential.
Alissa Overend, University of Alberta and Emma Wensing, University of Toronto, NASSS Board Graduate Student Representatives
Graduate Workshop: Negotiating the Publication Terrain
Publish or perish is a common, and often accurate rhetoric among most university institutions. Grants, scholarships, productivity, job applications, and tenure are often gauged upon one’s ability to publish. For those of us just entering the already-challenging world of academia, the “p” word can be both frightening and intimidating. How does one begin this arduous process? What kinds of journals are available for those who study sociology and cultural studies of health, physical activity, recreation, and sport? What non-refereed sources should also be considered? What are some of the dos and don’ts around written submissions? Designed for but not restricted to graduate students, this seminar will include three panelists in a round table format: Annelies Knoppers, the newly appointed editor of the Sociology of Sport Journal; Peter Donnelly, the editor of the International Review of the Sociology of Sport; and Audrey Giles, an all-but-defended Ph.D. student. Each presenter will speak for about 10-15 minutes, leaving ample time for a question and answer period. If you have any concerns or curiosities about the publication process, this seminar will provide a non-threatening and informative environment where graduate students can help negotiate the ever-important publication terrain. We hope to see you all there.
Victoria Paraschak, University of Windsor and Michael Heine, University of Manitoba
Space, Place and Experience: “Knowing” Oneself through Distinctions
We know ourselves, shape our identities, in part through our distinctiveness from Others. But how does that knowing change as we actively attempt to reduce those boundaries? Yi-Fu Tuan (1977), John Bale (2004), and others have claimed that spaces become places through our experiencing of them. A remote kayaking trip, along the Porcupine River in northern Yukon and Alaska, provided us with an opportunity for critical reflection on the ways through which this “space” becomes understood as “places” through our experiencing of it. Knowledge is embedded in power relations; we will know this “place” according to the ways we can imagine it. Different sources of “knowledge”–fur traders’ journals, elders’ stories, theoretical musings on space, the Aboriginal owners of that “space”–all provide possibilities for shaping our experiences along that river. Our interest in privileging aboriginal accounts—to decrease the distinctiveness between their worlds and our own—enables us to decrease some differences between us while heightening others. Various accounts of our “experience” serve to highlight the social construction underlying “experience”, “knowledge”, and the many ways that “distinctiveness” can connect us to and differentiate us from the Other–whether one is paddling through Aboriginal lands, or trying to “come to know” the Aboriginal perspective as part of the research process.
Krista M. Park, University of Maryland
Cities and Urban Marathons: Revitalization Tools and Race Amenities
Large urban marathons are simultaneously sporting events, public festivals, and urban planning challenges. For race organizers and participants, the twenty-six miles of road closures, multiple messy water stations, scattered port-a-potties, loud cheering crowds, and parking and traffic congestion at the start and finish zones are at least neutral, understandable inconveniences that must be endured in order to experience the joy of the race. For the members of communities through which marathons run (frequently less prosperous and non-White neighborhoods), these same events can disrupt their lives and disguise the larger structural problems their neighborhoods face. As the one time a year when more affluent community members enter their neighborhoods and cities frequently clean-up the spaces and supplement infrastructure, the events display falsely positive images of city. Analysis of race advertisements, publications, and news coverage using David Harvey and Don Mitchell’s theories about urban development and contemporary constructions of “public” space reveal the interdependent relationship between destination marathons and the cities in which they are located: the spectacular scenery of the course sells the marathon while the marathon helps the city portray itself as a preeminent city.
Andrew Parker, University of Warwick