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.
Katherine M. Jamieson, Justine J. Reel and Diane L. Gill
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.
This study of a schoolgirl Australian Rules football team uses life-history research to provide unusual insights into the gendered embodiment of female footballers. Focusing on the familial relations of players, the article looks at sport in the wider context of gender, showing complexities often overlooked. While documenting different patterns of female embodiment, the study examines whether the provision of full-contact sports is “schooling the bodies” of these young women in alternative forms of embodiment to those described by Young (1998) in “Throwing Like a Girl.” Specifically, this article addresses why the girls play football, whether they are consciously resisting male domination, whether playing football teaches them a different gendered embodiment, and how the girls deal with gender contradictions that arise from playing football.
Alternative sports have been situated within backlash politics whereby subcultural or marginal representations illustrate a victimized white male. While this may be true of some sports, skateboard media fosters a sustained critique of “whiteness.” To understand the representation of white resistance in skateboarding, we must locate the sport within the larger historical context of white male rebellion found in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957) and Norman Mailer’s White Negro (1957). Similar to these countercultural narratives, skateboard media represents a tension between a death of whiteness (symbolized by co-opting “blackness”) and its inevitable rebirth (through prolific marketing of white skaters). Unlike the Beats, however, the dialectics of white resistance appear in skateboard media through advertisements that are often underscored by parody, which produces its own set of complexities.
Laura Frances Chase
Foucault’s notions of disciplinary processes, power, and docile bodies are used in this article to understand the complexity of the body and physicality in women’s rugby. Drawing on data from 30 interviews and field observations with 94 female rugby players, I investigate the multiple and complex ways in which the female rugby body is disciplined. These women resisted disciplinary processes of femininity but, at the same time, were willing participants in disciplinary processes of competitive sport. They and their bodies are shaped by multiple and competing discourses and disciplinary processes. The women in this study were drawn to rugby because of the physical nature of the game, became fully invested in competitive athletics, and resisted notions of ideal female bodies.
“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.
This article proposes a new way of thinking about the relationships between sport and race in the U.S. It is critical of sport’s racial form and function but does not overlook its unique and potentially progressive characteristics. This theoretical framework is generated through an extended review and critique of longstanding popular beliefs and post-1970s scholarly critiques thereof. It draws most heavily from the latter but also argues that academic critics have been too quick to dismiss the opportunities for racial resistance and change available through sport and, thus, failed to grasp the full extent to which sport is implicated in American racial formations. In contrast, sport is portrayed as a “contested racial terrain.” This formulation, in combination with the “golden ghetto” metaphor, not only conveys the complexity of racial dynamics in sport but also reveals the broad public significance of sport in a racialized culture.
George H. Sage
A field study of high school teacher/coaches was undertaken, guided by the following general questions: What is it like being a high school teacher/coach? What are the main occupational contingencies for high school teacher/coaches? How do teacher/coaches think about themselves and their situations? The larger field study that provided the data base for this paper was conducted over a 5-month period in 1985 during which I observed teacher/coaches in six high schools. The data were drawn from naturally occurring observations and conversations with teacher/coaches, noncoaching teachers, and school administrators. Formal interviews were also conducted with 50 teacher/coaches. Data described in this paper are qualitative and focus on teacher/coaches’ feelings and attitudes about their profession and the meanings about the multiple role demands they are confronted with. The observations and interviews demonstrate quite dramatically the complexity and pervasiveness of role overload and interrole conflict in this occupation and the role strain that results. Coping and resolution strategies used by teacher/coaches are discussed.
Jason Laurendeau and Dan Konecny
In this essay, we build upon Messner and Musto’s recent call for sociologists of sport to take “kids” more seriously; we highlight that in addition to taking kids and kids’ sport more seriously, sport scholars might go further toward considering childhood not simply as a stage of life, but as a set of ideas that shape and are shaped by sporting and recreational practices and discourses. To illustrate the value of this approach, we explore a number of complexities and contradictions of contemporary risk discourses, and the ways in which these are connected to the (re)production of young people as vulnerable subjects.
Dans cet essai, nous nous appuyons sur Messner et Musto qui ont récemment encouragé les sociologues du sport à prendre les enfants plus au sérieux; nous soulignons qu’en plus de prendre les enfants et les activités sportives des enfants au sérieux, les chercheurs en sport peuvent aller plus loin et considérer l’enfance non seulement comme une étape de la vie, mais aussi comme un ensemble d’idées qui forment les pratiques et discours sportifs et récréatifs et sont formées par ceux-ci. Pour illustrer le bien-fondé de cette approche, nous explorons un certain nombre de complexités et contradictions qui existent dans les discours actuels sur le risque, et les façons dont ils sont connectés à la (re)production des jeunes comme sujets vulnérables.
In this article I examine the practice of hunting in New Zealand with particular reference to the ways in which hunters make sense of hunting, the embodied experience of hunting, and the moral status of animals. Drawing on ethnographic and interview data I reflect on how the practice and understanding of hunting is guided by a form of relational ethics. As such, the social and historical development of hunting in New Zealand and meaningful connections made with the environment and animals developed through the practice of hunting work to guide hunter’s ethical perspectives rather than any universalized philosophical principles or rules. I argue that by hunting, hunters recognize and consciously engage with multiple standpoints and interests in the backcountry environment in a manner that presents particular challenges to critical studies of human-animal interactions that are frequently unable to look past hunting as killing. As such, this article works to explicate the “experiential and cultural complexities” (Marvin, 2011 p.123) of hunting with particular emphasis on the development of an ethical perspective that guides hunters in New Zealand without seeking to judge, or defend, hunting and hunters.