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Intertwining Influences on Perceptions of Risk, Pain, and Injury in Sport: A Close Study of a Chinese New Immigrant Mother–Daughter Pair

Lucen Liu and Liyun Wendy Choo

Sociological research on sport risk, pain, and injury primarily focuses on young, Western, high-performance male athletes in organized sport. In contrast, ethnic minority women’s experiences with sporting pain and injury, and risk perceptions are often underrepresented. This paper presents a close study of a Chinese new immigrant mother’s risk rationality and practices as related to her daughter’s sporting experiences in New Zealand. A conceptual framework of “neoliberal ethnic discourses of risk” was used to explore how intertwining factors of ethnicity, gender, and immigrant identity, influenced participants’ preferences for particular sports, and their perception and experiences of risk, pain, and injury. This study invites sports sociologists and organizations to consider how cultural and gendered discourses influenced Chinese new immigrant women’s sporting participation in host countries, such as New Zealand, especially why the group might be less active and more resistant to particular sports and physical activities while strongly favoring others.

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(Un)Doing Diversity Work in a “Diverse” Space: Examining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work in Historically Black College and University Athletics

A. Lamont Williams, Marcis Fennell, and Yannick Kluch

Matters related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have taken center stage in intercollegiate athletics in response to renewed momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery (to name a few) in 2020. Following the trend, athletics diversity and inclusion officer positions have been developed to implement DEI programming and strategy in athletics on respective campuses. However, while research on DEI programming at historically White institutions is well established, inquiries on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are rare. To fill this gap in the literature on strategic DEI efforts, the present study aims to analyze the current landscape of DEI work at HBCUs. Drawing from racialized organization theory, we argue that the contemporary conceptualization of DEI hinders the perceptual need for DEI programming at HBCUs. Thus, the monolithic approach of DEI programming cannot remain the pragmatic solution to inequitable experiences in NCAA athletics, specifically at HBCUs. Considerations include budgetary allocations, professional development, and the overall athlete experience.

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Recuperative Wokeness: Nike and the Commodification of Potential for Social Change

Eric L. Chan, Faye Linda Wachs, Christian Garcia, Beverly Teresa Cotter, and Rojelio Muñoz

Faced with the increasingly politicized nature of sport and the need for resource accumulation under neoliberal capitalism, brands employ political stances to connect with consumers and expand customer bases. The ubiquity of social media in the present moment offers a unique opportunity to analyze corporate messaging and also audience response. Seven hundred and fifty YouTube comments from three Nike ads were coded. Overall commenters responded positively to Nike acting as a “representative” for progressivism in sport while failing to acknowledge larger social movements or Nike’s own questionable business practices. Using Debord’s theory of spectacle and Fisher’s capitalist realism, we discuss “recuperative wokeness,” our term for how these narratives serve to co-opt activism, and how this works to maintain the legitimacy of neoliberal market system.

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College Football “Kids”: Infantilizing Language in Football Bowl Subdivision Bowl Game Broadcasts

Chris Corr, Crystal Southall, Billy Hawkins, and Richard M. Southall

Paternalistic institutional structures are strategically arranged to maintain locus of control and preserve male-centric patriarchal authority. A confluence of cultural, social, and legal structures perpetuates paternalism within National Collegiate Athletic Association college sport and specifically in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football. This study examined FBS bowl game broadcasts to determine the prevalence of paternalistic and infantilizing commentary. An analysis of in-game commentary from a sample of 18 FBS bowl games from the 2019 to 2020 season revealed that commentators frequently infantilize FBS football players, normalizing a paternalistic and exploitative coach–athlete relationship.

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Hegemony and the National Collegiate Athletic Association: A Critical Discourse Analysis of National Collegiate Athletic Association Resources Concerning Name, Image, and Likeness

Molly Harry

When athletes gained rights from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to monetize their name, image, and likeness (NIL), the NCAA’s historic hegemony over college sports was challenged. However, given the recency of NIL, there is minimal research on how the NCAA communicated NIL changes to its members during this time. Through the lens of hegemony theory, this research explored how the NCAA communicated its hegemony and its loss of power via its distribution of NIL resources (N = 48). Critical discourse analysis demonstrated the NCAA and its leaders predominantly employed ideological influence in their communications to members and athletes to follow NIL guidelines. This influence centered around appeals to fairness and amateurism. The NCAA also tried to use coercion to force compliance. Finally, with an increasing trend toward decentralization, the NCAA relinquished hegemony in communications that shifted control to member institutions and by requesting federal involvement.

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“They’ve Never Played the Game”: “Cool Sports Girls,” Gender Inequality, and Garbage Time in Sports Punditry

Taylor M. Henry

In the 2010s, certain women in the sports television industry ascended beyond the often-reductive roles of studio hosts or sideline reporters, giving their sports opinions and occasionally hosting their own programs. This article argues that women who achieve this standing are forced to play a new role, that of the “cool sports girl.” Although “cool sports girls” gain male support through adopting masculine-coded traits, such as sports knowledge and smack talk, this article examines the misogynistic backlash these women face, interpreting the backlash as representing finite boundaries of the gains that women have achieved in a hypermasculine industry. This article reads the tenure of Katie Nolan at Fox Sports (2013–2017) as a representative example of how female television pundits exhibit agency amid entrenched industrial patriarchy.

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“Futures—Past,” A Reflection of 40 Years of the Sociology of Sport Journal: An Introduction

Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown, Chen Chen, Tomika Ferguson, Courtney Szto, Anthony Jean Weems, and Natalie Welch

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Volume 40 (2023): Issue 4 (Dec 2023): SPECIAL ISSUE “Futures—Past,”: Liberation, Futurity, Intersectionality, and Interdisciplinarity: Reading Sport, Physical Culture, and the (Physically Active) Body

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Sports Reforms and Coaches’ Spoiled Identities: An Analysis of Structural Stigma

Yoon Jin Kim and Marcelle C. Dawson

This article explores how sports coaches’ identity and social relations are shaped within the context of new policy initiatives in sport. It focuses particularly on South Korea’s ongoing sports reforms wherein sports coaches feel stigmatized and disgraced. Informed by classic and contemporary sociological understandings of stigma and relying both on documents and narratives from 29 individuals, our qualitative analysis reveals that Korean coaches’ stigma is discrediting, prior-known, and power-laden. By viewing stigmatization as a social process constructed both “symbolically” and “structurally,” this article extends Goffman’s analysis to argue that coaches’ stigmatization is rooted in the social, institutional, and political power around sports reforms that forge stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs across society by offering ready-made scripts for both the stigmatized and the “normals.”

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Sports Attitudes in Childhood and Income in Adulthood

Adam Vanzella-Yang, Pascale Domond, Frank Vitaro, Richard E. Tremblay, Vincent Bégin, and Sylvana Côté

Research shows that sports participation in youth is associated with earnings in adulthood. However, studies have often relied on self-reported earnings and on single indicators of sports participation. Using large-scale data linked to administrative records, we investigate: (a) whether sports attitudes at age 13 are uniquely related to income at ages 30–36 and (b) whether educational attainment and mental health in early adulthood mediate this association. We find that a one SD increase in sports attitudes is related to a 10% increase in income. This association is not entirely confounded by preexisting and co-occurring risk factors. Educational attainment mediates 22% of the association between sports attitudes and income. Sports attitudes are potentially a form of capital deployed in the pursuit of socioeconomic advantages.