“It Ain’t Just Black Kids and White Kids”: The Representation and Reproduction of Authentic “Skurban” Masculinities

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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The recent emergence of “skurban” (the fusion of skateboarding and urban) reflects the racially diverse history and culture of skateboarding within urban areas in the United States. Skurban follows on from skateboarding’s integral link with the urban since the 1980s. We aver that urban skateboarding is now underpinned by proliferating racial formations that reproduce a version of masculine authenticity that is highly marketable. Through our interrogation of two mainstream media skate videos featuring Stevie Williams and Paul Rodriguez, we propose that skurban reflects the ascendancy of highly valued urban racial masculinities. These masculinities enhance youth and action sport brand marketing strategies. Simultaneously, these diverse racial masculinities gain currency in alignment with discourses of individual entrepreneurialism, “free market” capitalism, and multicultural notions of diversity.

Atencio is with California State University-East Bay, Hayward, CA. Yochim is with the Vukovich Center for the Communication Arts, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA. Beal is with the Department of Kinesiology, California State University-East Bay, Hayward, CA.

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