Reading Nancy Lopez: Decoding Representations of Race, Class, and Sexuality

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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As though it were unfolding today, the Lopez story provides a fertile field for analyzing the varied consequences of interlocking inequalities of race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality. Lopez is constructed through the print media as a symbol of assimilation, as well as a body coopted in the project of Latino-Latina pride and social justice. The selected “Lopez texts,” which include Sports Illustrated, Nuestro, and Hispanic magazines, offer powerful and complex examples of the authority of the media to construct and reconstruct the events surrounding Lopez’s career. The purpose of the paper is to apply feminist insights regarding racialized, classed, and sexualized forms of gender to examine the complexity and salience of Nancy Lopez’s presence on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour.

K.M. Jamieson is with the Department of Kinesiology at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824. An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the Symposium on Women in Sport and Education, Baltimore, Maryland, 1996.

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