Through an ethnographically oriented case study at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, the analysis accounts for the complexities and nuances that realignments in political, economic, and social life create for televised sport professionals. The analysis addresses the mediations of, and the interactions between, the host broadcaster (Radio Television Malaysia) and one “client” broadcaster (Television New Zealand). Specifically, the paper focuses on the conditions of production, the production practices, and the meanings embodied within the product that flowed to New Zealand.
Alison J. Armstrong-Doherty
Interuniversity athletic departments face an ever-increasing number and complexity of factors in their environment, which may impact on their organizational activities to varying degrees. The head athletic directors at 34 of the 45 (76%) Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) member institutions rated the degree of control of 15 environmental elements over seven basic activities of the athletic department. The athletic department was perceived to function relatively independent of broad environmental control, with the exception of establishing and supporting a philosophy of interuniversity athletics. It appears that perceived control is a multidimensional phenomenon that varies across the environmental elements and the activities of the athletic department.
This paper explores how young girls develop trust in their equine partners for the purposes of competitive equestrian sport. I argue that interspecies trust manifests through interactional trust and system trust. Interactional trust, as reflected in the horse-human relationship, is built through joint action and results in symbolic interaction. System trust is made possible through the equine community; it develops through communication in an effort to reduce complexity and uncertainty in society. To encourage and sustain youth participation in competitive equestrian sports both interactional trust and system trust are necessary.
Steven J. Jackson
This paper contributes to the recent debates concerning sport and the “Americanization” of culture with specific reference to Canada. The analysis focuses on the media’s role in articulating specific political, economic, and cultural events in order to construct a crisis of Canadian identity. In particular, this study examines how the 1988 marriage and trade of ice hockey star Wayne Gretzky were articulated within a discourse of crisis and specifically linked to an alleged threat of “Americanization.” It is asserted that a comprehensive understanding of Americanization must address its complexity beyond a simple case of cultural imperialism and should consider such issues as appropriation and strategic use to serve particular political interests.
Natalie Barker-Ruchti and Richard Tinning
Women’s artistic gymnastics is an Olympic sport that involves intricate acrobatic and rhythmic activities. This kinesthetic proficiency demands muscular strength and courage, which have been argued to serve its athletes as a source of empowerment.
Various scholars question the positive effects of sport participation. This article builds on these doubts through a feminist Foucauldian study of WAG. An essayistic research story, compiled from data gained in an ethnographic study, serves as the basis for our analyses. The results demonstrate the complexity of WAG experiences and illustrate that gymnasts’ athletic proficiency is only possible through an extensive and elaborate process of corporeal discipline.
Audrey R. Giles
Using data collected from 4 months of ethnographic research that was conducted during the summer of 2002, this article examines the complexity inherent in anthropological investigations of “tradition,” and also the multiplicity of ways that traditions are looked at by residents of Sambaa K’e and Dene Games organizers in the Northwest Territories. By exploring different interpretations of traditional Dene Games, the role of women in such games, and the ideological positions that have contributed to these interpretations, the ways in whichß certain understandings of tradition are privileged over others are elucidated.
“Americanization” is a much more useful term than “globalization” in the Canadian context. The specific practices of commercial sport that have eroded local autonomy began as explicitly American practices, and state-subsidized American-based cartels flood the Canadian market with American-focused spectacles, images, and souvenirs. But the term does oversimplify the complexity of social determinations and masks the increasing role the Canadian bourgeoisie plays in continentalist sports. “American capitalist hegemony” is therefore preferable. The long debate over Americanization in Canada has also focused on the appropriate public policy response. Traditionally, Canadians have turned to the state to protect cultural expression from the inroads of American production, but that becomes increasingly difficult under neoconservative renovation and the regional trading bloc created by the 1989 U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. The popular movements will need new means to protect and strengthen the presentation and distribution of their own sporting culture.
Katherine M. Jamieson, Justine J. Reel and Diane L. Gill
Differential treatment by race has been documented in sport, including the opportunity to occupy specific positions. Few researchers have examined the theoretical fit of stacking in women’s sport contexts. Moreover, the three published studies of stacking in women’s athletics were examinations of positional segregation for white and African American women only. Binary conceptions of race are no longer sufficient to explain the complexity of power relations that are visible through phenomena such as stacking. This study focused on the stacking of four major racial groups in NCAA Division I softball. Based upon the results, we suggest that stacking of racial-ethnic minority women may occur in patterns different from those identified in previous stacking studies.
Sony SooHoo, Justine J. Reel and Patricia F. Pearce
Adolescent cheerleaders are seen as American icons, but psychosocial factors can predispose them to body image disturbances and disordered eating. Understanding body image development is critical to promoting healthy body image, as well as preventing disordered eating and its related health risks. The purpose of this study was to explore the development of body image among adolescent female cheerleaders. A grounded theory approach was used to conduct 26 interviews with 14 adolescent female cheerleaders (M = 14.07, SD = 2.40) who cheered at All-star gyms, junior high, or high schools to explore their body image experiences. The categories included body awareness (i.e., physical changes, body comparison), cheerleading environment (i.e., cheerleading image, position body type, uniform), and social factors (i.e., parental influences, comments from others). These categories influenced body image through the central category, developing attitude, demonstrating the complexity of body image construction among adolescent females.
Chin-Ju Huang and Ian Brittain
The purpose of this study was to explore the multiplicity and complexity of identity construction for elite disabled athletes within the arena of disability sport. This involved in-depth semistructured interviews that explored the experiences of 21 British and Taiwanese elite disabled athletes from the sports of powerlifting and track and field. The results indicate that both societal perceptions based in the medical model of disability and the participants’ impaired bodies play a key role in their identity formation and sense of self-worth. The study also highlights the role that success in international disability sport can have by offering potential for positive subjectivity, a changed self-understanding, and an increased sense of personal empowerment. Finally, the notion of multiple identities also appears to be supported by the research participants’ narratives.