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Marni Brown, Erin Ruel and Stephanie Medley-Rath

In light of the increasing participation of girls/women in sport, we investigate the attitudes of high school boys and girls toward potential increased opportunities for girls’ to participate in sport. There has been little research on high school students’ attitudes toward girls’ sport participation decomposed by gender and athletic status. We find that, on average, high school students are supportive of increased opportunities for girls to participate in sport. Girls are more supportive than boys on average. While there is no difference among girls by athletic status, male competitive athletes show the most negative attitudes toward opportunities for girls to participate in sport compared with male noncompetitive athletes. Lastly, racial minority groups express positive attitudes toward increased opportunities for girls to participate in sport compared with whites.

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Catherine Palmer

Since its publication more than a decade ago, Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities has offered an enticing, if romantic, way of conceptualising nationalism. Fine-grained ethnographic analysis, however, of the ways in which local populations actually imagine their community raises some questions for the continuing viability of such a notion. In many places around the world, people consciously and conspicuously place themselves outside of the imagined community, and it is the social, cultural, and political consequences of such actions that this article seeks to explore. Drawing on a period of ethnographic fieldwork undertaken in France in the mid-1990s, this article examines very public contestation and sabotage of the Tour de France by pro-Basque supporters. This specific case study of political activism through sport provides a compelling example of the ways in which a dominant symbol of French national identity is usurped and upstaged by a minority group so as to reinvent or re-imagine a new kind of community.

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Moshe Semyonov and Mira Farbstein

This research explores the extent to which aggregate violence among players and spectators of soccer teams is affected by the urban ecology and the sports ecology in which the teams operate. Sports violence is viewed here as characteristic of the social system. The analysis focuses on 297 soccer teams in Israel, and demonstrates that violence in sports is systematically related to both the team’s urban ecology and sports ecology. First, teams representing communities of subordinate ethnic minorities are more violent than others. Second, teams competing in higher level (professional) divisions and teams at either the bottom or top of their division (high levels of competition) are more violent. Third, teams characterized by violent players are more likely to have violent spectators. Finally, the causal relation between player and spectator violence is asymmetric: players affect spectators’ violence but not vice versa. These findings are discussed and interpreted in light of sociological theory.

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Patrick Peretti-Watel, Valérie Guagliardo, Pierre Verger, Patrick Mignon, Jacques Pruvost and Yolande Obadia

This study examined attitudes toward doping among 458 French elite student-athletes (ESAs) ages 16–24, their correlates, and their relationship with cigarette, alcohol, and cannabis use. We found a consensus among ESAs concerning negative aspects of doping. A cluster analysis showed, however, that statements dealing with benefits of doping were endorsed by two significant minorities of respondents. These ESAs were more frequently older males with a lower parental academic achievement and no sporting history in their family. Recreational drug use depended on whether or not ESAs endorsed statements related to nonsporting benefits of doping. Using an analytical framework from the sociology of deviance, our findings suggest that athletes who dope themselves pursue legitimate goals with illegitimate means but justify their behavior with a legitimate rationale. Further research is needed on the nonrecreational use of recreational drugs.

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Helene Joncheray, Fabrice Burlot, Nicolas Besombes, Sébastien Dalgalarrondo and Mathilde Desenfant

This article presents the performance factors identified by Olympic athletes and analyzes how they were prioritized and implemented during the 2012–2016 Olympiad. To address this issue, 28 semistructured interviews were conducted with French athletes who participated in the Olympic Games in 2016. The analysis shows that to achieve performance, only two factors were implemented by all the athletes: training and physical preparation. The other factors, namely, mental preparation, nutrition, and recovery care, were not implemented by all athletes. In addition, two main types of configurations have been identified: a minority of athletes (n = 4) for whom the choice of performance factors and their implementation are controlled by the coach and a majority (n = 24) who adopts secondary adjustments by relying on a parallel network.

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Lee Sigelman

The use of American Indian team names, mascots, and symbols has stirred considerable controversy over the last decade. This paper focuses on public attitudes toward the most frequently objected-to team name, the Redskins, Washington, DC’s professional football team. Data from 2 surveys, one local and the other national, establish that very few members of the general public see any need to change Redskins to another name. Support for a name change is significantly higher among racial or ethnic minorities; the more highly educated; and those who are not fans of professional football in general or the Washington team in particular. However, even in those parts of the public, support is far outweighed by opposition. These findings stand in stark contrast to the idea that Americans now routinely disassociate themselves from ideas and stereotypes that might convey the impression that they are racially insensitive.

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Daniel Burdsey

This article investigates the presence and effects of racial microaggressions in English first-class cricket. Drawing on interview data with British Asian players, it not only highlights players’ experiences of racism, but also identifies their tendency to downplay the repercussions of some of the forms that this prejudice takes. The analysis demonstrates that color-blind ideology is so entrenched in contemporary Western sport that its reproduction is not exclusively the preserve of white groups; it can also at times compel minority ethnic participants to endorse dominant claims that the effects of racism are overstated as well. As a consequence they are often pressured into denying or downplaying those forms of verbal discrimination which are articulated between team-mates and in a seemingly playful manner, dismissing incidents as merely “banter” or “jokes”.

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Donald Chu and David Griffey

The contact theory of racial integration is examined in this survey of the behaviors and attitudes of secondary school students and student-athletes. Self-report questionnaires were completed by 1,082 subjects in the urban upstate New York area. Subjects were evaluated on two behavioral (race of students talked to, race of students phoned) and three attitudinal (like more friends of other races, choose interracial school, or races smarter than others) dependent variables. Dependent measures were evaluated relative to their correlations with a number of independent variables (athlete/nonathlete, individual or cooperative sport played, sport experience, won-lost record, exposure to minorities, sex, social status). Results of the study argue for consideration of the contact theory’s applicability to the sport situation.

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Rebecca E. Hasson

activity levels among ethnic-minority youth are not maintained throughout adolescence and into adulthood ( USDHHS , 2008 ). African American and Latino adults report significantly lower levels of physical activity participation than White adults ( USDHHS , 2008 ). Hence, there is a critical need to

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Robert Chappell, Daniel Burdsey and Kate Collinson

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the ‘race’ and ethnicity of female netball players in the First and Second Division of the English National Netball League during the 1999/2000 season. The secondary purpose was to compare the ethnicity of players to playing position. Consequently, this research will contribute to a better understanding of female ethnic participation in English netball, and also provide data that will facilitate a comparative analysis of participation rates by ethnic minorities in other sports in England, and with similar research on ethnicity in other countries. Data were collated from team rosters of all teams comprising the First and Second Divisions of the English National Netball League in the 1999/2000 season. The research was conducted over a season, in order to observe all of the teams, and to note the position of each player in the team. The ‘race’ and ethnicity of players (̲N = 150) was established from individual players by administering a self-definition questionnaire at the end of each observed match.