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Sociology of Nostalgia: Sport Halls of Fame and Museums in America

Eldon E. Snyder

Nostalgia is an important emotion in society that also has significance for the analysis of sport. Two types of nostalgia are discussed: collective and private nostalgia. The data for this paper were qualitative and collected at sport halls of fame, museums, and archives. Data collection procedures included people’s responses and reactions to the displays, notes of people’s conversations, analysis of sound tracks associated with the displays, photographs, and printed material from the halls of fame and museums. Nostalgia is defined in terms of the remembrance of the past that is imbued with positive feelings such as pleasure, joy, satisfaction, and goodness. These feelings may also be mixed with feelings of sadness. Some implications of nostalgia for the meanings associated with sport are considered.

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Backboards and Blackboards

Eldon E. Snyder

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A Theoretical Analysis of Academic and Athletic Roles

Eldon E. Snyder

One of the research traditions in sociology of sport is the study of athletic participation and academic achievement. Yet most of this research is primarily descriptive in nature and produces little cumulative explanatory knowledge; furthermore, the findings appear contradictory and confusing. The present paper utilizes the exchange and symbolic interactionist perspectives to analyze the concept of commitment to the multiple roles of athlete and scholar. These theoretical perspectives provide the potential for a greater understanding, explanation, and meaning to the findings in this area of research.

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Interpretations and Explanations of Deviance among College Athletes: A Case Study

Eldon E. Snyder

This case study analyzes a group of college athletes who were involved in a series of larcenies. A focal point of the study is that these athletes did not fit the usual profile of deviants who would commit large-scale crimes. Furthermore, the athletes in question were apparently not committing the crimes for material gain. Differential interpretations that are given to explain the athletes’ behaviors include defective character traits, the use of alcohol, peer pressure, and the quest for excitement. These interpretations and explanations are discussed within a broader interpretive model of behavior.

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Grass Roots Commitment: Basketball and Society in Trinidad and Tobago

Eldon E. Snyder

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Emotion and Sport: A Case Study of Collegiate Women Gymnasts

Eldon E. Snyder

Previous studies of emotion in sport have examined team sports. The present research focuses on an individual sport—women’s collegiate gymnastics. Data were gathered during the gymnastics season of 1988-89 from 10 members of the team and its coach and trainer. The methodology included the use of photo-elicitation interviews and observations of women’s gymnastics. The emotion-work and categories of emotions described were displayed when the gymnasts were off stage, when preparing to compete, between events, and after competition. Discussion focuses on the control and management of emotions according to the “feeling rules” (i.e., the socially constructed subcultural norms of the sport). The gymnasts did display individual variations in their adherence to the feeling rules. Categories of emotion included nervousness, fear of pain and injury, frustration, and disappointment. Emotional social experiences included social psyching up and the happiness and joy associated with a successful performance. Consideration is given to some advantages and qualifications of the photo-elicitation technique.

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Responses to Musical Selections and Sport: An Auditory Elicitation Approach

Eldon E. Snyder

Music is associated with many sport events, yet little research is available on music and sport. The present study considers several musical selections frequently associated with sport with a focus on the meaning these musical selections have to the listeners. Other studies of music and society indicate that music may provide a means of promoting a collective consciousness, social integration, and political ideology. The present study utilizes an auditory elicitation approach. That is, respondents wrote the subjective meanings they associated with the musical selections as they were being played. The selections elicited a variety of meanings and emotions from the respondents. The responses to the music are interpreted within the functionalist, critical, and sociology of emotions/nostalgia frameworks.

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The Underdog Concept in Sport

Jimmy A. Frazier and Eldon E. Snyder

The tension and excitement of competitive sport is created by the indeterminacy of the contest that is based on an approximate equity between the contestants. Yet players and teams vary in competence and prestige, and those with less competence are frequently labeled as the underdog. While winning is valued, cross-cutting values often create sentiments for the underdog, that is, the desire for the underdog to overcome the inferior status and upset the favored opponent. Social support for the underdog reflects a utilitarian perspective that helps maintain an emotional interest in a contest; additionally, underdogs receive support from the social value of equity. At a microlevel, the underdog status is often used to increase the level of motivation and performance. Data gathered from university students are used to support the positions taken in the paper.

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Photo Elicitation: A Methodological Technique for Studying Sport

Eldon E. Snyder and Mary Jo Kane

Previous research has identified gender appropriate and inappropriate sports for females. The present study uses a photo elicitation technique to study respondents’ attitudes toward two women’s sports: college basketball and gymnastics, Interestingly, this methodology manifests different results from more traditional techniques. Contrary to the expected results based on previous studies, the photo elicitation technique indicates that the perceptions of female participation in basketball were similar to gymnastics. This method of gathering data as well as the results of this study have several important implications for the field of sport management.

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Orientations Toward Sport: Intrinsic, Normative, and Extrinsic

Eldon E. Snyder and Elmer Spreitzer