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Types and Sources of Spectating Pleasure in Televised Sports

Margaret Carlisle Duncan and Barry Brummett

Although scholars have increasingly turned their attention to sport spectatorship, few have examined the particular appeals of television sports spectatorship. This study explains the pleasures of televised sports viewing by building on the work of media theorists. In particular, it argues that three types of specular pleasure (fetishism, voyeurism, narcissism) are found in televised sports. Further, it identifies discursive, technological, and social dimensions of televised sport spectating as the sources of those visual pleasures. The voyeurism, fetishism, and narcissism of televised sport are illustrated with examples drawn from videotapes of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

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Liberal and Radical Sources of Female Empowerment in Sport Media

Margaret Carlisle Duncan and Barry Brummett

This study of spectator groups viewing televised professional football revealed that spectators, particularly women, acted upon sport texts to empower themselves. Radical empowerment for women occurred when female spectators subverted the premises of the televised football spectacle, using irony, sarcasm, and limited commitment to the game to refuse the preferred (patriarchal) readings of the text. Liberal empowerment occurred when women (and men) used mediation as a way of extending the self into the game. While men often availed themselves of mediation in this way, women did so less often, perhaps because liberal empowerment is ultimately disempowering to women.