Professional Sports, Authoritarian Capitalism, and Their Impact on the Global Community View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Jeremy Levine
This paper analyzes the impact that foreign investments in professional sports has on the 21st century geopolitical landscape and global economy as a whole. Using the LIV Golf tour, World Cup, Olympics, the Premier League, and the NBA’s relationship with China as case studies, this study seeks to understand how sports has been used to normalize the rise of authoritarian capitalism around the world and how that affects our ability to respond to crises around the world, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, tensions between China and Taiwan, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi that was ordered by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the FIFA bribery scandal that resulted in the 2022 World Cup being in Qatar, and more. Professional sports will be used to highlight that perhaps capitalism and democracy are not as synonymous as many people believe, while also highlighting the spread of capitalism since the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union did not lead to the expansion of democracy nearly as much due to international finance prioritizing one over the other.
Feeling Represented : Impact of Biracial Black and Japanese Athletes for Black and Japanese People Worldwide View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Maiko Le Lay
In my ethnographic research on the identities and embodied and digital practices of biracial Black and Japanese people globally, I realized how much representation mattered to them to their feeling of belonging. Because of the lack of representation of Black and Japanese people in a given socio-cultural context (in Japan or elsewhere), biracial Black and Japanese people go through a constant search for acceptance and yet they never fully fit it. However, more recently, the rise of Black and Japanese athletes on the global stage has helped Black and Japanese people navigate their identities and empowered them. Indeed, one of my interviewees, who is the father of a Black and Japanese child living in Japan said: “My son had a water bottle with Rui [Hachimura] on and he cherished that because that was somebody that looked like him. I had Michael Jordan, Lebron James, but he never saw somebody that look like him on that sort of stage.” Older generations of Black and Japanese people shared that they are happy to see that younger generations have access to more information, awareness, and representation thanks to social media and public figures such as Naomi Osaka and Rui Hachimura. This paper combines data from interviews, social and popular media sources and describes the positive individual and societal impact biracial Black and Japanese athletes can have for their community.
This is a Win For Us All: Constructions of Nationalism in Online Reactions to Alex Eala's US Open Win View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Inez Ponce De Leon
Alex Eala won the US Open Juniors 2022 title, marking a first for the Philippines. It was not only her win that was remarkable. Eala spoke in Filipino for much of her post-match interview, with no translators on hand. Online reactions to this event were of interest not only because Eala dedicated her win to the Philippines, but because she spoke a language that purports to be the unifying hybrid of the 100+ living languages of the Philippines. Eala later defended her choice of language, saying that she wanted to express how the win was for all Filipinos. The researcher used Bottom Up Framing to examine online reactions to Eala's speech by gathering the most relevant Facebook comments and analyzing them inductively. The researcher found constructs of nationalism based on the speaking of language alone, with very rare instances of commenters calling Eala out for using a language other than English, or for only claiming to represent the Philippines while speaking a language that does not truly represent all Filipinos. The identity of the Filipino was therefore that of a person proud of their language and unapologetic of their expression, rather than outsiders forced to speak a foreign tongue. Other salient constructs are also discussed. These findings have implications for studies of national identity, language and trans national identities, and community fervor for competitive sports.
Featured Does the World of Sports Mirror the World of Managed Work?: Tensions and Barriers of Authenticity
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Yusuf Hassan
This study responds to the recent calls (Gino & Kouchaki, 2020; Jongman-Sereno & Leary, 2020; Hicks, Schlegel & Newman, 2019) to pay more attention to the importance of the concept of authenticity by enhancing our knowledge of its subjective meanings and tensions ascribed in the personal and professional space of individuals. Although, prior studies have examined authenticity in the context of traditional work settings, and its importance for social and political thinking (Taylor, 2007), has been duly acknowledged; sports, as a context has been largely ignored. In the backdrop of recent sports scandals, doping cases and eroding of the emancipatory and liberative values of sports, an understanding of the subjective meanings and tensions of authenticity for athletes has become crucial. This is because findings of prior studies suggest that an authentic self is capable of addressing issues pertaining to mental health, social adjustments and concerns related to the overall wellbeing of individuals. The distinction in beliefs, thoughts, ideas and perceptions shaped by the cultural, social and political environment, different individuals are expected to have a different connotation for what authenticity stands for them. Further, the quest for attaining an optimal balance between ‘authentic self’ and ‘accepted self’ should generate tensions is detrimental for the individual’s well-being. The current study explores the nature of challenges for authenticity in the form of tensions that obstructs the realization of the meanings of authentic for athletes.
“Spontaneous Self Discipline” and “Disciplined Spontaneity”: Notes on C.L.R. James’s Dialectics in/and Beyond a Boundary View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Brendan O'Connor
This paper explores C.L.R. James's use of dialectical thinking and analysis in his famous work on cricket, reading *Beyond a Boundary* through his *Notes on Dialectics.* For James, the dialectic of sport, of organized games, is the dialectic of organization and spontaneity, repetition and improvisation, chaos and control. Thus, he argues, in sport and games, we find glimpses of the organization—not in the form of yet another vanguardist micro-sect, but in disciplined and concentrated spontaneity—that will overcome the bureaucracy that oppresses and stultifies the proletariat and which will in turn free us all. What other kinds of research questions does this point us towards as scholars of both sports and society? What else does dialectical thinking reveal about the development of sport, across scales, as a practice, culture, and industry?