Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Research of the Week--Race and Media

A couple of recent research articles in the Journal of Sport & Social Issues (one from JSM contributor Dave Leonard) demonstrate how strong racial stereotypes still remain in the sports media. We hear arguments that there needs to be more minority representation in sports management positions such as coaching and ownership. I wonder if these articles would suggest that there also needs to be more minority presence in sports reporting and media?

Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Vol. 31, No. 1, 25-44 (2007)
Innocent Until Proven Innocent
In Defense of Duke Lacrosse and White Power (and Against Menacing Black Student-Athletes, a Black Stripper, Activists, and the Jewish Media)
David J. Leonard, Washington State University

As the national media descended on Durham, North Carolina, in wake of public accusations of rape against three Duke Lacrosse student athletes, much of the discourse remained mired in its own shock and awe. Ignoring, if not erasing, histories of sexual violence involving White men and Black women while focusing on the problems plaguing college athletics, the media, and the numerous online defenders of the players used this instance to rearticulate tropes of White power, imagining the case as yet another assault on White masculinity. Beyond examining these deployed fictions and the denials of the possibility of guilt, given the player’s Whiteness, sport of choice, educational institution, and class status, this article explores the ways in which their student athlete identities were seen as either meaningless or evidence of innocence, especially in juxtaposition to the discursive articulation of the criminalized Black male student athlete.

Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Vol. 31, No. 2, 103-127 (2007)
"So You Can See How the Other Half Lives" MTV "Cribs"' Use of "the Other" in Framing Successful Athletic Masculinities Maureen
Margaret Smith, Sacramento State University
Becky Beal, University of the Pacific

MTV's popular television series "Cribs" displays the homes of famous athletes and entertainers. "Cribs" presents these male athletes and their households as exemplars of "making it." This article examines the representation of male athletes and how various types of "successful" masculinity are conflated with race and class. We found two dominant models of successful masculinity, James Bond and Cool Pose. "Cribs" clearly demarcates between Black and White athletes, which essentializes race. Simultaneously, "Cribs" presents race as performative styles providing the audience with opportunities to consume "the other." We argue that this paradoxical dynamic is utilized to sell the cool lifestyle and has multiple implications, including depoliticizing race, class, and gender.


Post a Comment

<< Home