This paper focuses on the theoretical and substantive innovations developed by Michel Foucault, and specifically his understanding of the disciplined nature of bodily existence. Foucault’s understanding of the human body is then linked to the critical discourse within sport sociology. This illustrates how his research has been appropriated by critical scholars in the past and briefly outlines how his work could be used to develop innovative research agendas. The paper concludes by putting the onus on the critical element within sport sociology to confront poststructuralist and postmodernist theorizing, such as Foucault’s genealogy. This is the only way to ensure the intellectual development of a critical, and legitimate, sport sociology.
David L. Andrews
This genealogical examination of Michael Jordan’s popular signification reveals a complex narrative that incorporates many of the historically grounded racial codes that continue to structure the racial formation of the United States. Borrowing judiciously from cultural studies, poststructuralist, and postmodern theorizing, this paper critically analyzes the imaged persona of Michael Jordan as an important site of mediated popular culture, at which specific racial ideologies are publicized and authorized in support of the reactionary agenda of the post-Reaganite American imaginary. As such, this paper attempts to develop a critical media literacy that encourages readers to interrogate their engagement with the racially oppressive discursive tracts circulated by the popular media.
David L. Andrews
David L. Andrews and Michael L. Silk
Michael L. Silk and David L. Andrews
Within this paper we offer what is hopefully both a suggestive (as opposed to definitive) and generative (as opposed to suppressive) signposting of the ontological, epistemological, and methodological boundaries framing the putative intellectual project that is Physical Cultural Studies (PCS). Ground in a commitment toward engaging varied dimensions or expressions of active physicality, we deliberate on an understanding of, and approach to, the corporeal practices, discourses, and subjectivities through which active bodies become organized, represented, and experienced in relation to the operations of social power. Further, drawing on Toby Miller, we suggest that this approach requires a motivation toward progressive social change. We consider the political and axiological contingencies of PCS, how it is differentiated from the “sociology of sport,” and how we may produce the type of knowledge that is able to intervene into the broader social world and make a difference. We are sure many will disagree—perhaps with good reason—with our assumptions. Indeed, such differences are welcomed for we feel that there is greater progressive potential in a field in tension, in healthy contestation, and, in which debates surrounding ontology, epistemology, political intent, method, interpretation, expression, and impact flow freely.
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.
Michael T. Friedman, David L. Andrews, and Michael L. Silk
The challenges and pressures associated with the unfolding postindustrial moment have resulted in the spatial reorganization of contemporary cities. New urban environments have emerged, dominated by spectacular spaces of consumption designed to attract tourists’ and suburbanites’ discretionary incomes. Although presenting a seemingly vibrant and flourishing image of the city as a whole, these spaces are disconnected from the realities of those living in impoverished neighborhoods. Focusing on the Oriole Park at Camden Yards complex in Baltimore, this discussion highlights the link between sport spaces and consumer capital within the postindustrial city. The aim is, first, to illustrate the manner in which cities have used sport amenities as important components of broader urban redevelopment initiatives and, second, to explicate the potential consequences of such policy decisions for city inhabitants.
David L. Andrews, Ben Carrington, Steven J. Jackson, and Zbigniew Mazur
Over the last decade, a voluminous debate has evolved around the concept of globalization, prompting Featherstone and Lash (1995) to identify this multifaceted phenomenon as replacing modernity and postmodernity as the central thematic within current cultural theorizing (for example, see Appadurai, 1990; McGrew, 1992; Robertson, 1995; Wallerstein, 1990). In light of this claim, the goal of this paper is to examine the interconnections and disjunctures that distinguish the complex relationship between global media and local meaning within the context of contemporary transnational sport culture. Specifically, the paper uses Michael Jordan—a vivid example of the “export to the entire world” (Kellner, 1995, p. 5) of much of America’s commodity-sign culture—as a vehicle for critically exploring the relationship between globally mediated cultural products, and the cultural contingencies of three markedly distinct localized contexts. Such a task will be realized by reconstructing Jordan’s location and significance within particular domains of contemporary New Zealand, Polish, and British cultures. In this way, we hope to provide a preliminary analysis of the global-local nexus as it pertains to the transnationally imaged and commodified expressions of American sporting culture.