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Marketing Politics and Resistance: Mobilizing Black Pain in National Football League Publicity

Jeffrey Montez de Oca

The 2020 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Presidential Address analyzed aspects of the National Football League’s (NFL) current socially conscious marketing to make sense of corporatized racial justice politics following a summer of mass political mobilization triggered by the police killing of George Floyd. The analysis shows that the mass, multiracial racial justice activism forced corporatized sport leagues such as the NFL to respond to popular political pressure. The NFL followed the lead of the National Basketball Association and instead of resisting popular sentiments, it has incorporated social justice language into its marketing. Guided by Indigenous decolonial scholarship and radical Black scholars, I argue that the NFL’s incorporation of social justice language is a politics of recognition and colonial governmentality that insulates it from racial justice politics and helps to stabilize challenges to racial capitalism.

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Editorial

Cheryl Cooky

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Decolonizing Sports Sociology is a “Verb not a Noun”: Indigenizing Our Way to Reconciliation and Inclusion in the 21st Century? Alan Ingham Memorial Lecture

Paul Whitinui

In this paper, which is a revised and modified version of the 2019 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Alan Ingham Memorial lecture, the author shares four views, contributions, and opportunities that sports sociologists might consider useful in how to decolonize as well as indigenize our discipline together. The need to actively engage in the theory and practice of how to decolonize while understanding what it also means to work toward becoming an accomplice, activist, ally, or co-resistor are important threads underpinning the nature and scope of this paper. The author concludes with a plea to sports sociologists that decolonizing our minds is as much a collective effort as it is an act of reconciliation while maintaining the promise of inclusion, equity, and human rights. As sports sociologists, understanding what it means to be in “good relations” with Indigenous Peoples is fundamental to how we continue to build on and improve our discipline together.

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Should College Athletes Be Allowed to Be Paid? A Public Opinion Analysis

Chris Knoester and B. David Ridpath

Traditionally, public opinions have largely opposed further compensation for U.S. college athletes, beyond the costs of going to school. This study uses new data from the National Sports and Society Survey (N = 3,993) to assess recent public opinions about allowing college athletes to be paid more than it costs them to go to school. The authors found that a majority of U.S. adults now support, rather than oppose, allowing college athletes to be paid. Also, the authors found that White adults are especially unlikely, and Black adults are especially likely, to support allowing payment. Furthermore, recognition of racial/ethnic discrimination is positively, and indicators of traditionalism are negatively, associated with support for allowing college athletes to be paid.

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Foreword: 2Pac’s Legacy From the Hip-Hop Platform

Michael Eric Dyson

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Hip-Hop and Sport—An Introduction: Reflections on Culture, Language, and Identity

C. Keith Harrison and Jay J. Coakley

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Rap Sessions From the Field: Intersectional Conversations With Jemele Hill, Bun B, Fat Joe, and IDK

C. Keith Harrison and Reggie Saunders

To end this special issue, Dr. C. Keith Harrison and Reggie Saunders connected with individuals that exist at the intersection of hip-hop culture and sport. This series of interviews begins with Jemele Hill, an American sports journalist and activist. A graduate from Michigan State University, Jemele also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida from 2012 to 2014 teaching undergraduate sport business management students practical lessons about sport media. Reggie has been an adjunct faculty member at University of Central Florida since 2015, co-teaching innovation and entrepreneurship in sport/entertainment with Harrison. Reggie follows with an interview with Bun B, one half of the Texas rap duo, UGK and currently an adjunct professor at Rice University teaching a course on religion and hip-hop. New York rapper and entrepreneur, Fat Joe weighs in briefly on the topic, and Reggie closes out by interviewing rapper and Washington DC native, IDK. IDK is known for his hit song 24, and has a notable fan in Kevin Durant, National Basketball Association superstar and fellow Washington, DC native.

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Sport Advocacy: The Art of Persuasion and Its By-Products

Cecilia Stenling and Michael Sam

Despite an increase of advocacy by established nongovernmental sport organizations, little is known about how advocacy is enacted and with what effects. Building conceptually on frame alignment theory and empirically on interview data from 19 Swedish Regional Sport Federations, this article investigates how advocates politicize sport to gain “insider status” and analyses the by-products of such efforts. This research demonstrates that the architecture of advocacy claims perpetuates a separation between organizations that “sell” sport from those that “produce” it. Framing also impels centralized authority because advocates safeguard their credibility as political actors by taking up a “leadership-position” vis-à-vis clubs. Advocacy frame alignment has further by-products insofar as they narrow advocates’ room for maneuver and become institutionalized over time.

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“We Cannot Stand Idly By”: A Necessary Call for a Public Sociology of Sport1

Cheryl Cooky

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Editorial

Michael D. Giardina