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Sport for Development and Decolonization in a Settler Colonial State: Physical Culture in the Lives of Indigenous Peoples Incarcerated in Canadian Prisons

Mark Norman, Alicia G. Clifford, and Robert Henry

This article considers if sport, broadly defined, can be constructed as a decolonizing practice for Indigenous Peoples incarcerated in Canadian prisons. Situating our analysis within transformative and decolonizing approaches to sport for development, we bring together disparate literatures—on settler colonialism and Indigenous incarceration, decolonization and Indigenous resurgence, and sport and incarceration—to critically analyze possibilities and limitations of sport as a vehicle for decolonization in an inherently colonial institution. Recognizing the structural constraints to such a process, we also critique the settler colonial state and criminal justice system in which many Indigenous Peoples are enmeshed. The article contributes to sport for development’s ongoing engagement with issues of decolonization and criminal justice.

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Letter from the Editor: Celebrating SSJ’s 40th Anniversary

Cheryl Cooky

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“Who Am I ... a Hockey Player”: Indigenous Generosity and the Transformative Power of Education in Hockey Spaces

Davina McLeod, Sam McKegney, Darren Zanussi, and Shane Keepness

This paper examines the tenuous balance of Indigenous generosity in hockey spaces with the need for non-Indigenous players and organizers to educate themselves and others, pursue systemic change, and unburden Indigenous players of the heavy lifting of anti-racism. Interviews with five Indigenous elite women’s hockey players identify hockey as a potential site of decolonial and anti-racist learning, fueled by the players’ love for the game and willingness to expend emotional labor to affect change. Our interviewees express the desire to make hockey safer for future generations of Indigenous players by educating their non-Indigenous teammates, often, in the process, exposing themselves to ignorance, indifference, and racism. The players uniformly argue that education is required for change; however, this paper illustrates that such education is not solely the responsibility of Indigenous participants in the game.

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“Building Back Better”: Seeking an Equitable Return to Sport for Development in the Wake of COVID-19

Richard Norman, Daniel Sailofsky, Simon Darnell, Marika Warner, and Bryan Heal

The COVID-19 pandemic affected sport programming by restricting in-person activities. Concurrently, global outcry for racial justice for Black and racialized communities promoted calls to action to assess equitable practices in sport, including sport for development (SFD). This study critically examined SFD “return to play” programming to include perspectives from racialized persons’ lived experiences. We present findings based on data collected from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Foundation’s Change the Game campaign, which explored questions of sport inequity to “build back better.” Outcomes further SFD discourses challenging (potentially) harmful structures affecting participants, including underreported effects of racialization. The study used both quantitative and qualitative analyses of survey data on youth experiences, enablers, and barriers in sport and analyzed these results within an antiracist, antioppressive, and decolonial conceptual framework.

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Under the Influence: Marijuana, the Black Male Athlete, and Alternative Understandings of Humanity

Nik Dickerson

This paper analyzes a series of advertisements from the antidrug campaign Above the Influence and interviews of former National Football League and National Basketball Association players by the website Bleacher Report regarding their marijuana use. Guided by Christina Sharpe’s theoretical concept of the “wake,” I argue that the Above the Influence adverts produce a trope I call Chronic Black male sporting hood. A trope that holds the Black body in a state of dehumanization. The second half of this paper utilizes Sharpe’s Black methodological tool of Black annotation/redaction. Through this Black methodological tool, the testimonial of the athletes, and the influences of Black musicians, I argue that these athletes provide insight into alternative ways of living and being human that arise from the anti-Black practices of sport with marijuana serving as their catalyst.

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On Thin Ice: Toward A Modified Male Peer Support Theory of Professional Hockey Players’ Violence Against Women

Walter S. DeKeseredy, Stu Cowan, and Martin D. Schwartz

There was a burst of creative social scientific investigation into hypermasculine male athletes’ violence against women in the 1980s and 1990s, but this interest has seemed to have dried up. Furthermore, the extant literature on this problem is for the most part atheoretical and devoid of sociological ways of knowing. Thus, the main goal of this paper is to highlight the value of applying a modified male peer support theory of male-to-female violence to explain the linkage between playing professional hockey and online and offline variants of woman abuse.

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Self-Presentation and Black Male College Athletes at Historically White Institutions

Jonathan E. Howe

Black male college athletes (BMCAs) are in a unique position within the contexts of historically white institutions and Division I college athletics. Recently, BMCAs have increasingly presented themselves in ways that highlight specific social identities or even in opposition to the college athletic system and higher education environment. However, little has changed as power and privilege remain central forces in white-dominated settings. This constructivist grounded theory study examines how historically white institution and Division I athletic environments influence self-presentation of BMCAs through a Black critical theory lens. The experiences of 16 BMCAs illuminated how self-presentation was influenced by academic and athletic settings, Division I subdivision characteristics, and sport-specific contexts. I conclude with recommendations and directions for future research.

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Fighting Visibility: Sports Media and Female Athletes in the UFC

Kim Toffoletti

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Counter Stories on the Meaning of Sport in the Lives of Black Youth Who Are Incarcerated

Jennifer M. Jacobs, Gabrielle Bennett, and Zach Wahl-Alexander

Although a significant focal point of research has been dedicated to the role of sport in the lives of youth, few articles have explored sporting experiences among incarcerated youth. Often overlooked, this population is highly disenfranchised and overrepresented by youth of color. Nonetheless, emerging research has proposed sport as an important developmental tool in the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. Informed by critical race theory, the current study included semistructured interviews with nine incarcerated Black males, exploring the meaning of sport in their lives. Results included themes around family induction into sport, sport versus street life, sport teaching life skills, and sport as a distraction. Findings offer insight into how youth of color in the juvenile justice system conceptualize the role of sport and consequently, how sport may be harnessed for positive youth outcomes in correctional settings.

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Gender Equality and Economic Entanglements in Male-Dominated Sport Organizations: The Disruptive Value of Australian Rules Football Women

Adele Pavlidis, Simone Fullagar, and Wendy O’Brien

Focusing on the Australian Football League and its development of a national competition for women, this article contributes toward broader debates around the inclusion and incorporation of women in professional sport. It traces the particular logics and desires (such as corporate expansion) that drove the Australian Football League to develop a women’s competition in the name of equality. We map the organizational tensions and affects that produce (the doing of) gender equality through different desires. Drawing on feminist new materialist conceptions of assemblage, we work to identify the material (numbers of women and girls participating, revenue, and expenses) and discursive (attitudes toward girls and women, meanings attached to sport, and gender) entanglements that contribute to the (de)valuing of women in male-dominated sporting organizations and how this might be disrupted both now and in the future.