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Beyond Reconciliation: Calling for Land-Based Analyses in the Sociology of Sport

Ali Durham Greey and Alexandra Arellano

This article examines the possibilities engendered by land-based analyses within the sociology of sport. We examine how “Canada’s” Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action on sport reproduce a logic of social inclusion, one which assimilates Indigenous athletes and Peoples into settler models of sport. To consider epistemological tools for unsettling settler sport systems, we turn to critical Indigenous scholarship on land-based analyses and pedagogies. To illustrate the possibilities of land-based analyses, we examine lacrosse, an Indigenous sporting practice with roots embedded in relational interconnectedness with the land. A land-based approach to sport offers opportunities for revising the assumptions, values, and ethics underpinning settler models of sport through, for example, emphasizing the importance of community, healing, and land stewardship.

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Stereotype Threat and Interscholastic Athletic Leadership

James P. Strode, W. Andrew Czekanski, Anna W. Parkman, and Meredith K. Scarlata

Women have historically been underrepresented in positions of power within athletic administration. Stereotype threat, or the realization that there is a possibility that one is being judged as confirming or being reduced to a stereotype, can negatively impact the recruitment and retention of woman leaders in sport. This study developed and validated a new scale, the Gender Stereotype Threat in Athletic Administration, and elicited responses from high school athletic directors in two U.S. states. Using multiple analysis of variance, correlation analysis, and structure equation modeling, five hypotheses were tested and supported based on the respondents’ feelings of group identification, belonging uncertainty, extra pressure to succeed, and group reputation threat. The present work extends the findings on stereotype threat in the sport leadership domain and provides a useful instrument to study this phenomenon in future research.

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Virtually Masculine: Queer Men’s Experiences With Harassment in Online Video Games

Jeremy Brenner-Levoy

Video games are an understudied sport featuring social interactions both similar and dissimilar to those in offline sports. While anonymity in online video games could create a space where minoritized groups experience more equitable treatment, offline social inequalities are translated into online video game interactions. Drawing on 20 semistructured interviews and 2,694 survey responses from self-identified queer men, I build a framework for understanding gender, sexuality, and racial/ethnic harassment in online video games. I argue that nerd masculinity is a protest masculinity that uses symbolic harassment to reframe masculine hierarchy online and enforce hegemonic nerd masculinity. With this study, I illustrate the prevalence of symbolic harassment and the channels it may follow to become direct harassment.

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Critical Friends, Dialogues of Discomfort, and Researcher Reflexivity in the Sociology of Sport

Adam Ehsan Ali, Tavis Smith, and Michael Dao

In this special issue, which calls for a “more radical sociology of sport and physical culture,” the purpose of this paper is to address how practices of reflexivity might be mobilized among critical sport scholars toward changing the intersectional, fragmented, and complex communities we inhabit inside and outside the academy. We begin by conducting a literature review of researcher reflexivity and positionality in Sociology of Sport Journal from 2000 to 2022. Utilizing Wanda Pillow’s “reflexivities of discomfort,” we interrogate our own research by engaging in a reflexive dialogue as “critical friends.” Through this work, we try to make sense of the potential of these dialogues for shaping our ethical, political, and personal approaches to research, writing, methodology, and knowledge production.

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Struggle in the Bubble: The National Basketball Association’s Response to Player Activism in the 2020 Bubble

Drew D. Brown, Lisa Doris Alexander, and Thabiti Lewis

The National Basketball Association (NBA) restarted its 2020 season by playing in a “bubble.” At the same time, a new wave of the “Black Lives Matter” movement was in full swing. Many players joined the movement with their own forms of activism, which the NBA responded to in various ways. This essay explores the NBA’s responses to player activism by using Critical Race Theory’s concept of “Interest Convergence” to analyze the gestures organized by the NBA and highlight the role race, racism, and capitalism played in the NBA’s responses. Overall, this essay argues that in order to capitalize on the popularity of the Black Lives Matter movement, and in the interest of its bottom line, the NBA engaged in three types of responses: compromise, acquiescence, and co-opt/manipulation.

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Erratum. Reconstructing, Challenging, and Negotiating Sex/Gender in Sport: U.S. Public Opinion About Transgender Athletes’ Rights, Rights for Athletes With Varied Sex Characteristics, Sex Testing, and Gender Segregation

Sociology of Sport Journal

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Reconstructing, Challenging, and Negotiating Sex/Gender in Sport: U.S. Public Opinion About Transgender Athletes’ Rights, Rights for Athletes With Varied Sex Characteristics, Sex Testing, and Gender Segregation

Chris Knoester, Rachel Allison, and Victoria T. Fields

Using data from the National Sports and Society Survey (N = 3,993), this study considers U.S. public opinion about transgender athletes’ rights, rights for athletes with varied sex characteristics, sex testing, and gender segregation in sports. Social structural location, social group, and ideological characteristics are examined as predictors of these opinions. Results indicated that most U.S. adults seem to support transgender athletes’ rights and rights for athletes with varied sex characteristics and oppose sex testing and gender segregation in youth sports. Men, heterosexuals, older generations, those without a college education, Republicans, Christians, and rural residents, as well as those who exhibit more traditionalism and traditionally gendered beliefs in their ideologies, were more opposed to athletes’ rights and inclusivity on these issues.

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Volume 40 (2023): Issue 3 (Sep 2023)

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Pregnancy, Parenthood, and Elite Athletics: “There’s a Lot of Work Still Yet To Be Done”

Sydney V.M. Smith, Audrey R. Giles, and Francine E. Darroch

Several female athletes have recently challenged the long-standing assumption that pregnancy/parenthood (particularly motherhood) and participation in elite-level sport are mutually exclusive. These women’s actions have elicited change across the elite athletics industry and have sparked a need for further research to understand how elite athlete-parents perceive these shifts. We used feminist poststructuralist theory, feminist participatory action research, and semistructured interviews to explore the perspectives of 21 pregnant and parenting elite/international and world-class athletes (11 women and 10 men) on the developing degree of acceptance of parenthood in elite athletics. Through feminist poststructuralist discourse analysis, we identified that, despite considerable recent advancements, there is still a need for continued change in the degree to which pregnant/parenting elite athletes are accepted and supported within elite athletics.

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Gender Equality in the “Next Stage” of the “New Age?” Content and Fan Perceptions of English Media Coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Stacey Pope, Rachel Allison, and Kate Petty

This article offers an original contribution by examining both the quantity and quality of English print media coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and how fans perceive and respond to this coverage. It is the first longitudinal analysis of media coverage of women’s football in the United Kingdom and compares print media coverage between the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups. We draw on a content analysis of five English national newspapers and 49 semistructured interviews with fans. We develop new theoretical insights through the development of our framework of the “next stage” of the “new age.” Our findings show media coverage of women’s football has substantially increased, with respectful coverage sustained. The new theme of gender equality made visible several types of inequality, but the media industry failed to acknowledge its own role in reinforcing gender inequalities. Interviewees were critical of the time-limited “revolution” whereby coverage was limited to the duration of the World Cup. To advance gender equality, future media coverage must be sustained, meaningful, and prominent.