State University of New York Press

SUNY series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations

CL Cole

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations

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Athletic Intruders

Ethnographic Research on Women, Culture, and Exercise

Informed by feminism and the fields of anthropology and sociology of sport, this anthology investigates women’s place in sport and exercise from a sociocultural perspective, documenting women’s struggle into the sports arenas of male hegemony. The nine ethnographic case studies explore issues of identity, embodiment, and meaning in various sports and exercise, including triathlons, aerobics, basketball, bodybuilding, weightlifting, motorcycle riding, softball, casual exercise, and rugby.

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Beer, Babes, and Balls

Masculinity and Sports Talk Radio

Beer, Babes, and Balls explores the increasingly popular genre of sports talk radio and how it relates to contemporary ideas of masculinity. Popular culture plays a significant role in fashioning identities, and sports talk radio both reflects and inspires cultural shifts in masculinity. Through analysis of the content of sports talk radio as well as interviews with radio production staff and audience members, scholar and avid sports talk radio listener David Nylund sheds light on certain aspects of contemporary masculinity and recent shifts in gender and sexual politics. He finds that although sports talk radio reproduces many aspects of traditional masculinity, sexism, racism, and heterosexism, there are exceptions in these discourses. For instance, the most popular national host, Jim Rome, is against homophobia and racism in sport, which indicates that the medium may be a place for male sports fans to discuss gender, race, and sexuality in consequential ways. Nylund concludes that sports talk radio creates a male bonding community that has genuine moments of intimacy and connection, signifying the potential for new forms of masculinity to emerge, while simultaneously reproducing traditional forms of masculinity.

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Best Olympics Ever?, The

Social Impacts of Sydney 2000

Despite International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samarach’s proclaiming the Sydney 2000 Olympics as the “best ever,” the truth of the matter is much less one-sided. In The Best Olympics Ever? Helen Jefferson Lenskyj discloses what the Sydney 2000 Olympic industry suppressed: the real costs and impacts.

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Deconstructing Sport History

A Postmodern Analysis

This groundbreaking collection challenges the accepted principles and practices of sport history and encourages sport historians to be more adventurous in their representations of the sporting past in the present. Encompassing a wide range of critical approaches, leading international sport historians reflect on theory, practice, and the future of sport history. They survey the field of sport history since its inception, examine the principles that have governed the production of knowledge in sport history, and address the central concerns raised by the postmodern challenge to history. Sharing a common desire to critique contemporary practices in sport history, the contributors raise the level of critical analysis of the production of historical knowledge, provide examples of approaches by those who have struggled with or adapted to the postmodern challenge, and open up new avenues for future sport historians to follow.

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In the Game

Gay Athletes and the Cult of Masculinity

Using interviews with openly gay and closeted team-sport athletes, Eric Anderson examines how homophobia is reproduced in sport, how gay male athletes navigate this, and how American masculinity is changing. By detailing individual experiences, Anderson shows how these athletes are emerging from their athletic closets and contesting the dominant norms of masculinity. From the locker rooms of high school sports, where the atmosphere of “don’t ask, don’t tell” often exists, to the unique circumstances that gay athletes encounter in professional team sports, this book analyzes the agency that openly gay athletes possess to change their environments.

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National Identity and Global Sports Events

Culture, Politics, and Spectacle in the Olympics and the Football World Cup

National Identity and Global Sports Events looks at the significance of international sporting events and why they generate enormous audiences worldwide. Focusing on the Olympic Games and the men’s football (soccer) World Cup, the contributors examine the political, cultural, economic, and ideological influences that frame these events. Selected case studies include the 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin, the 1934 World Cup Finals in Italy, the unique case of the 1972 Munich Games, the transformative 1984 Games in Los Angeles, and the 2002 Asian World Cup Finals, among others. The case studies show how the Olympics and the World Cup Finals provide a basis for the articulation of entrenched and dominant political ideologies, encourage persisting senses of national identity, and act as barometers for the changing ideological climate of the modern and increasingly globalized contemporary world. Through rigorous scholarly analyses, the book’s contributors help to illuminate the increasing significance of large-scale sporting events on the international stage.

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Sporting Dystopias

The Making and Meanings of Urban Sport Cultures

Reaching beyond the popular celebration of commercial gains often associated with the proliferation of stadiums, events, and teams in the city, Sporting Dystopias explores the role of sport in the process of community building. Scholars from various fields, including anthropology, cultural studies, history, marketing, media studies, and sociology, examine the cultural, economic, and political interplay of sport and the city. The book systematically challenges the overwhelming claims of sport’s benefit to the city as it scrutinizes the various tensions inherent in the relationship. Grounded in economic means, racial and ethnic affiliation, and the contestation for space, sport is seen as precipitating a broad range of human challenges.

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To the Extreme

Alternative Sports, Inside and Out

An international array of authors, including some prominent extreme athletes like Jake Burton and Arlo Eisenberg, look at a variety of issues and concerns within the new action extreme sports that are gaining popularity throughout the world. For each sport, an interpretation is presented through two essays: one written by a scholar active in some aspect of research for the given activity, and another by a practitioner/athlete who writes “from the inside out.” The juxtaposed essays confront questions about the essence of sport such as, What is sport?; How does it originate?; and What is its use, value, and function? This book offers a fascinating look at how twentieth- and twenty-first-century sport forms emerge, proliferate, and take hold in a sport-crazy world.

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