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Cheryl Cooky

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Cheryl Cooky and Mary G. McDonald

In this article we explore the narratives that 10 White, middle-class female athletes, ages 11–14, (co)produce around their sport experiences. Through interviews, observation, and participant observation, we argue that, consistent with the advertising rhetoric of such multinational corporations as Nike, these girls all advocate hard work, choice, opportunity, and personal responsibility in playing sport and in challenging gender discrimination. We argue this reflects the girls’ subscription to elements of liberal feminism and to their frequent positioning as “insider-others”—that is, outside the dominant gender norms of sport but simultaneously the beneficiaries of Whiteness and middle-class norms. In contrast to Nike and liberal feminists who frequently argue for equal opportunity in sport, these girls’ insider-other narratives suggest the need for critical interrogation of the multiple meanings and effects of sport experiences.

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Katelyn Esmonde, Cheryl Cooky, and David L. Andrews

Feminist sports scholars characterize sport as a masculine domain wherein the ideology of male superiority and dominance is structurally and symbolically perpetuated. Researchers similarly identify sports fan communities as exclusionary to women and sites for the reaffirmation of gendered hierarchies. The purpose of this project is to examine the gendered meanings of sports fandom. Using semistructured interviews with eleven women who identify as fans of sports at the institutional center, we find the narratives illustrate the complex ways women define themselves in to, or define themselves out of, dominant discourses of sports fandom. The third wave feminist sensibilities employed in our analysis, and in the narrative experiences of our participants, compel us to recognize and struggle with the seeming contradictions of women sports fans. By giving voice to women sports fans, we offer a feminist intervention into the exclusionary processes that marginalize women’s sports fans.

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Cheryl Cooky, Brenda A. Riemer, James Steele, and Bea Vidacs

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Cheryl Cooky, Faye L. Wachs, Michael Messner, and Shari L. Dworkin

Using intersectionality and hegemony theory, we critically analyze mainstream print news media’s response to Don Imus’ exchange on the 2007 NCAA women’s basketball championship game. Content and textual analysis reveals the following media frames: “invisibility and silence”; “controlling images versus women’s self-definitions”; and, “outside the frame: social issues in sport and society.” The paper situates these media frames within a broader societal context wherein 1) women’s sports are silenced, trivialized and sexualized, 2) media representations of African-American women in the U. S. have historically reproduced racism and sexism, and 3) race and class relations differentially shape dominant understandings of African-American women’s participation in sport. We conclude that news media reproduced monolithic understandings of social inequality, which lacked insight into the intersecting nature of oppression for women, both in sport and in the United States.