Sport is a social institution that is rife with raced and gendered discursive fields, creating structural and power relations that may influence the leadership experiences of Black women there-in. Tins study utilized the tenets of Black Feminist Thought as a foundation for examining the leadership experiences of a case selection of Black women (n=21) in community recreational sports. The results revealed that a personal interest in sport and an ethic of caring motivated the women’s involvement in the leadership of community recreation sports. Although the women reported barriers of gender inequity, racial discrimination, poor communication, lack of resources, and organizational constraints, they appeared to rely on their internal fortitude as a reservoir for resistance to combat the institutional challenges faced and have meaningful sport leadership experiences. The study illuminated the importance of individual consciousness to these women’s sense of self and their ability to resist the domination of the power and ideologies situated in their sport leadership settings.
Sharon R. Guthrie
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology among lesbian current and former athletes and the possible link between the two phenomena. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 physically active adult lesbians who had at least 10 years of athletic experience. Lesbophobia was defined as the internalization of society’s negative attitudes and assumptions regarding lesbianism. Eating disorder symptomatology was defined as attitudes and behaviors associated with eating pathology (e.g., body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, frequent dieting, fasting, bingeing/purging, and other weight control measures). Findings suggested a connection between internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology, that is, individuals who expressed greater negativity associated with being a lesbian, particularly concerns about being perceived as lesbian, reported more body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, and other eating disordered attitudes and behaviors. The social implications of these findings are discussed.
Jeffrey O. Segrave and Douglas N. Hastad
Although several studies have reported a negative association between interscholastic athletic participation and delinquent behavior, research has failed to take account of the social psychological processes underlying the relationship. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to analyze the dynamic processes underlying the relationship between participation in interscholastic athletics and delinquent behavior. The study evaluated the relative contribution of 12 socio-psychological variables in the etiology of delinquent behavior among male and female athletes and nonathletes. Of the total sample of 1,693 high school students, 788 (442 males and 346 females) were classified as athletes. Overall, the results indicated that a similar pattern persists in the etiology of delinquent behavior among male and female athletes and nonathletes. Several differences were also found in the etiology of delinquent behavior among male athletes and nonathletes, female athletes and nonathletes, and male and female athletes.
Cassandra Wells and Simon C. Darnell
The sex testing of South African runner Caster Semenya in 2009 was widely discussed in media, but the most serious and significant sites of debate may have been within the cultures and institutions of track & field itself. In this article, we report findings from an analysis of an online track & field community—TrackNet Listserv—through which the Semenya case, and the politics and ethics of sex testing, were discussed. The results suggest that listserv members recognized the contestability of sex testing policies and identified with feminist struggles, but nevertheless largely argued for sex testing’s necessity in light of understandings of the biologically normative female body and the importance of maintaining fairness in and through sex-segregated sport. The implications for the sport of track & field and for sporting feminisms are discussed.
Daniel S. Putler and Richard A. Wolfe
Considerable controversy exists concerning university athletics. Depending upon one’s perspective, athletic programs are seen as having important positive, or negative, effects on universities. The objective of the research reported here is to determine whether perceptions of intercollegiate athletic programs differ as a function of issues such as winning, profits, ethics, and the education of athletes. Our analyses indicate that: (a) ethics and winning, and education and revenue, tend to be competing athletic program priorities; (b) individuals cluster in four groups that emphasize athletic program revenue, winning, education, and ethics; and (c) the extent to which cluster membership is related to constituency group (e.g., alumni, students, faculty) membership depends on the constituency group being considered. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of our findings for both theory and practice.
This article explores the intersection of representation, management, and race in the National Basketball Association (NBA) through a larger question on the relationship between corporate strategies for managing racialized subjects and popular representations of race. The NBA “brand”is situated in terms of recent developments in corporate and popular culture and then analyzed as an example of diversity management. Relying on original interviews with NBA corporate employees, as well as business and marketing industry reporting, the article analyzes the NBA as simultaneously an organization and a brand. As such, the NBA helps to “articulate” the corporate with the popular, largely through an implied racial project that manages race relations by continuing to equate corporate interests with Whiteness. The analysis contributes to ongoing discussions about the role of sports in perpetuating social disparities based on race at a time when “colorblindness” remains the paradigm of White approaches to race.
Christopher L. Stevenson
One underreported issue in the research on Christian athletes has been the difficulties these athletes experience in living with the demands and expectations of the dominant culture of elite, competitive sport. Data were derived from in-depth interviews with 31 elite athletes (23 males and 8 females), who were also professing Christians and associated with the evangelical organization, Athletes-in-Action. The athletes reported that it was by turning to or returning to an evangelical Christian faith that they were better able to cope with their problems and with the demands of the culture of elite, competitive sport. Discussion of these findings included a consideration of Coakley’s (1994) model “of conflict, doubt, and resolution,” which attempts to represent the conflicts experienced by Christian athletes in elite sport, and the approaches they take to assuage these conflicts.
Peter Millward and George Poulton
This article explores the establishment and development of fan-owned association football club, F.C. United of Manchester. It does this by drawing upon extensive ethnographic fieldwork, including interviews, observations and an analysis of multiple texts, such as fanzines, web-based and media reports materials and discusses this using Herbert Blumer’s theory of collective behavior. As such, the article addresses two research questions: first, what the empirical case example of F.C. United of Manchester offers to the critical understanding of Blumer’s theory and second, what the theory can give to the understanding of twenty-first century protests in popular culture. Therefore this article contributes to contemporary debates on association football fandom, social movements and the theories of Herbert Blumer.
Elizabeth C.J. Pike
The proposal that older people should engage in “active aging” has come to dominate local, national, and international policy agendas. This encompasses a variety of ways that older persons might maintain active citizenship, but invariably promotes physical activity and exercise as having health and social benefits, despite a lack of conclusive evidence to support such claims. In this paper, I further examine the meaning of these claims through an analysis of policy documents, reports, and media articles which promote the perceived benefits of physical activity in later life. I revisit Cohen’s (2002) concepts of folk devils and moral panics to understand how these messages simultaneously problematize older people while creating a market for emergent moral entrepreneurs who claim to have the solution to the problem they have in part created. I conclude with recommendations for improved understanding of the benefits and appropriate provision for active aging.
Cynthia A. Hasbrook
While there appears to be valid evidence to support the notion that sport participation is related to social class, such a relationship has not been clearly and directly demonstrated to exist among youth. Consequently, data from two studies that specifically investigated the potential relationship between formal youth sport participation and social class background are reported. The findings indicate that regardless of social class background, male youth participate in sport to an equal extent whereas female youth from lower social class backgrounds tend to participate in sport to a lesser degree than do their upper-class counterparts. Several explanations for these somewhat unexpected findings are offered, including the possibility of a diminishing relationship between sport participation and social class background. The multiple hierarchy notion of stratification is offered as a theoretical model in which to couch the major finding that sport participation appears to be stratified along social class lines among female youth but not among male youth.