Since the concept of redeveloping Wrigley Field became prevalent, the Chicago Tribune has notably constructed a variety of narrative strands on related urban dynamics. Through a framework that connected post-Gramsci insights of hegemony, discourse, and critics of spatial and economic neoliberalism, this study examined how the newspaper strategically assembled discourses in mediatizing urban politics surrounding the Wrigley renovation. First, the newspaper fostered hegemonic consent that endorsed the redevelopment(s) by promoting old tropes of economic development and market growth despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Second, it also produced a parallel discourse that expressed moderate recognition and sympathy to the interest and experience of the community. Without fundamentally challenging neoliberal power, however, such discursive construction was a strategic and instrumental intervention that reinforced the contingencies and boundaries of neoliberal hegemony. Through such investigations, this study shed light on the ongoing rearticulation(s) of the media regime that strategically produced neoliberal rationalities, subjectivities, and discursive antagonism as it assisted to shape urban imageries and political economies of sporting spaces.
Grace Yan, Hanhan Xue, and Chad Seifried
Lin Yu, Hanhan Xue, and Joshua I. Newman
In recent years, Shanghai has become one of Asia’s major players in the bidding for, and hosting of, international sporting events. Uniquely positioned by history (e.g., China’s liberalized urban node to the globalizing economy, an imbedded urban cosmopolitanism) and geopolitics (e.g., a shift toward free market domestic political economy, a growing pro-corporatist governing alliance), sporting Shanghai provides a critical site of analysis for contemporary sport-based global-localisms. In this study, we examine how local culture, global commercialism, and policy discourse intersect to “produce” the global sporting city. We conclude with a discussion of how sport in this context is manufactured not only as economic, social, and political catalyst, but also how sport policy itself represents a conjunctural city as “modernization” event.
Nicholas M. Watanabe, Hanhan Xue, Joshua I. Newman, and Grace Yan
With the expansion of the esports industry, there is a growing body of literature examining the motivations and behaviors of consumers and participants. The current study advances this line of research by considering esports consumption through an economic framework, which has been underutilized in this context. Specifically, the “attention economy” is introduced as a theoretical approach—which operates with the understanding that due to increased connectivity and availability of information, it is the attention of consumers that becomes a scarce resource for which organizations must compete. Using data from the Twitch streaming platform, the results of econometric analysis further highlight the importance of structural factors in drawing attention from online viewers. As such, this research advances the theoretical and empirical understanding of online viewership behaviors, while also providing important ramifications for both esports and traditional sport organizations attempting to capture the attention of users in the digital realm.
Joshua I. Newman, Grace Yan, Hanhan Xue, and Nicholas M. Watanabe
In this article, the authors provide a Deleuzoguattarian tracing of a specific set of relationships between traditional Chinese medicine, life, death, and football (soccer). More specifically, the authors examine political, economic, and cultural associations formed in and around the Quanjian Group, a major traditional Chinese medicine company once located in the burgeoning industrial hub of Tianjin. The authors follow Aihwa Ong in abductively examining (de)territorializations of life, sport, and death; examining how the media publics’ (in China and beyond) awareness of the death of a young girl in 2015 destabilized a network of capital, state, medicine, and sport and in the process revealed how the vitality of major professional sport in China is situated within, and contingent upon, a vast array of material and nonmaterial (bio)political formations.