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Liam Kennedy, Derek Silva, Madelaine Coelho and William Cipolli III

There exists a broad body of scholarly work that focuses on how communities, and individuals therein, mobilize, respond, and harvest collective action in response to tragedy. Despite this interest, there remains a dearth of empirical investigation into the complex intersections of tragedy, sport, and community. Utilizing qualitative approaches to discourse analysis and quantitative measures of sentiment, semantic, and content analysis of news media articles (n = 151) and public tweets (n = 126,393), this paper explores the ways in which public responses to the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash present a relatively narrow representation of both Canadian and local Prairie identity. We conclude with a discussion of some of the implications of collective action in response to specific forms of tragedy.

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Derek M.D. Silva, Roy Bower and William Cipolli III

This study explores how high school football athletes’ bodies are constructed within the context of contemporary scouting regimes. Deploying a quantitative approach, we analyze 6600 scouting reports on a total of 1650 high school football athletes available online from four high-profile media outlets which offer ‘expert’ analyses of athletes’ body characteristics, performance, and estimated potential. The findings indicate that subjective measurements of the athlete’s body are the best predictors of hierarchical classification. The findings also indicate that objective measurements do not seem to predict the subjective assessment of those very athletic bodies. We argue that the evaluation of high school football athletes by so-called expert analysts is remarkably arbitrary, and thus call into question the very practice of football scouting that has become so dominant and influential. ‘Scouts’ promote a system of scrutiny that contributes the reification of hegemonic relations between the observers and the observed.