Examining Identity in Sports Media


Edited by: Heather L. Hundley & Andrew C. Billings

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    While this project has required a great deal of work, it has been a lot of fun as well. We label this a positive experience largely because of the tremendous people we had the privilege of collaborating with on Examining Identity in Sports Media. Sage Publications has proven to be quite supportive of this work; we particularly thank Todd Armstrong for serving as an advocate, counselor, and expert for the book from its conception. We recognize and appreciate the book prospectus reviewers and draft reviewers as well for their insight and suggestions. This book is improved because of their work. We also wish to thank the contributors to this book who have advanced the dialogue about this area of sports communication in significant ways. These authors are prolific writers whose projects are many and skills are in high demand; we thank them for making this book a priority and for producing exceptional work. Additionally, we thank the institutional mechanisms that have allowed our dialogues about identity and sport to take place, ranging from the National Communication Association to the biennial Summit on Communication and Sport, which we used to flesh out the ideas you are now seeing in print.

    On more individual notes, Heather would like to thank her mentor Dr. Leah Vande Berg (deceased) for always encouraging her and having faith and confidence in her abilities. In addition, she thanks Dr. Nick Trujillo for introducing her to Sport Communication and his support during the early stages of this work. She also gives endless credit to her partner, Alan Briggs, for his ongoing patience, endearing advocacy, and good-natured attitude.

    Andy would also like to thank the Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities for supporting the project with additional release time and the Department of Communication Studies for providing other resources that were necessary to complete this book. He also particularly thanks his wife, Angela, and sons, Nathan and Noah, for helping him juggle the needs of this project with the time it takes to be a good husband and father.

    We hope you find this book provocative, intriguing, and enjoyable. We also hope you recognize the large number of people who made this project become a reality.

    The authors and SAGE gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the following reviewers:

    • Robert S. Brown, Department of Sport Management; Daniel Webster College
    • Pam Creedon, School of Journalism and Mass Communication; The University of Iowa
    • Linda K. Fuller, Communications Department; Worcester State College
    • Kelby K. Halone, Department of Communication Studies; West Virginia University
    • Allison Harthcock, Department of Media Arts; Butler University
    • Bob Krizek, Department of Communication; Saint Louis University
    • Anthony Moretti, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication; Point Park University
    • R. Pierre Rodgers, School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism; George Mason University
    • Raymond I. Schuck, School of Communication Studies; Bowling Green State University
    • Brad Schultz, Department of Journalism; University of Mississippi
    • Lawrence A. Wenner, Film and Television Studies Department; Loyola Marymount University
  • About the Editors

    Andrew C. Billings (PhD, Indiana University, 1999) studies sports communication and mass media, particularly focusing on the negotiation of identity within televised sport. He holds a degree in Communication & Culture from Indiana University and has received several teaching awards for his work in the classroom. His scholarship has been published in areas as diverse as Journal of Communication, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Communication Yearbook, and Mass Communication and Society, and he has won top paper awards from conferences for the National Communication Association, Broadcast Education Association, and Southern States Communication Association. In all, he has published over 40 refereed journal articles and book chapters and delivered over 60 research presentations in national and international forums. His first book, Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television, was published by Routledge in 2008.

    Heather L. Hundley (PhD, University of Utah, 1999) is a Professor at California State University, San Bernardino. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in mass media including media history, media and culture, media law, interpretative approaches, seminar in mass media, and digital culture. Her research interests include gender, feminism, sport, pop culture, law, and health related issues such as portrayals of alcohol consumption, cancer, and sexual promiscuity. Hundley has published in scholarly journals such as Visual Communication Quarterly, Communication Reports, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Men's Studies, The Journal of Intergroup Relations, Journal of Popular Film and Television and American Behavioral Scientist. She has book chapters in Critical Approaches to Television, Transmitting the Past: Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Broadcasting, and Critical Thinking about Sex, Love, and Romance in the Mass Media: Media Literacy Applications.

    About the Contributors

    Kim L. Bissell (PhD, Syracuse University, 1999) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism at the University of Alabama and is the Southern Progress Corporation Endowed Professor in Journalism. She teaches undergraduate courses in photojournalism and magazine editing and design and teaches graduate courses in the social effects of mass media and research methods. Her research interests are in health and visual communication, with a concentration on body image distortion in adolescent girls and women and the role of sport in the development of body image. Her other research examines anti-fat bias in adolescents and health communication messages in children's television programming. Her recent research has been published in the Journal of Communication, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journal of Sports Media, Atlantic Journal of Communication, and the Journal of Promotion Management. Prior to her graduate work, she worked as a sports photographer for the University of Florida's information publication services and worked as a news photographer covering collegiate and professional sports for The Observer-Reporter in Washington, Pennsylvania.

    Michael L. Butterworth (PhD, Indiana University, 2006) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication Studies at Bowling Green State University where he teaches courses in rhetorical criticism, democratic theory, and cultural studies. His research focuses on sport and political culture, with a particular interest in how history, democratic politics, and sport share an emphasis on contestation (agonism). He is committed to politically engaged scholarship that both contests sport's democratic failures and envisions democratic possibilities found in and through sport. His work has appeared in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Western Journal of Communication, and the Journal of Sport and Social Issues.

    Jennings Bryant (PhD, Indiana University, 1974) is CIS Distinguished Research Professor, holder of the Reagan Endowed Chair of Broadcasting, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Alabama. He received the university's Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award for 2000 and was President of the International Communication Association in 2002–2003. In 2006, he received a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Broadcast Education Association and was elected a Fellow of the International Communication Association. He is Advisory Editor of the 11-volume International Encyclopedia of Communication. Author or editor of 28 scholarly books or textbooks, Bryant has published more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals, has written more than 180 chapters published in edited scholarly books, and has delivered more than 200 papers at conventions of national and international professional associations. His primary research interests are in entertainment theory, mass communication theory, media effects, and media and children.

    James L. Cherney (PhD, Indiana University, 2003) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in rhetorical criticism, critical theory, public address, and disability rhetoric. He and several colleagues at the university recently succeeded in establishing a minor program in disability studies that incorporates courses across several disciplines. He has published essays and reviews engaging disability issues in such journals as Argumentation and Advocacy, the Quarterly Journal of Speech, and Disability Studies Quarterly. His previous work on disability and sport includes an analysis of the Supreme Court case Casey Martin v. PGA, Inc. that appeared in Case Studies in Sport Communication (Praeger, 2003).

    R. Glenn Cummins (PhD, University of Alabama, 2005) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electronic Media and Communications in the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University. His research interests include entertainment theory and media effects, and he has examined numerous areas of media content including sports media, music videos, reality television, and horror films.

    Bryan E. Denham (PhD, University of Tennessee, 1996) is Charles Campbell Professor of Sports Communication in the Department of Communication Studies at Clemson University. He studies political and sports communication, media effects, and quantitative research methods. He has published articles addressing the impact of newspaper and magazine journalism on the formation of public and organizational policy, issue framing, attribution of news sources and story definition, and gender and ethnicity issues in mass communication and public opinion. His articles have appeared in publications such as the Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, the International Journal of Sport Communication and the Journal of Sports Media.

    Andrea Duke (PhD, University of Alabama, 2008) is an Assistant Professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Her research interests focus on sports media, with an emphasis on gender, cultural stereotypes, body image issues, masculinity/femininity, and entertainment. She has been published in the Journal of Promotional Management, and has co-authored book chapters in the Handbook of Sports and Media and Investigating the Use of Sex in Media Promotion and Advertising. She is also the founder of Athletica Consulting Company, whose clients include San Antonio Sports Foundation, GoGirlGo! San Antonio, and the Women's Sports Foundation.

    Benjamin D. Goss (Ed.D., The University of Southern Mississippi, 1999) serves as an Assistant Professor in the entertainment management program within the Department of Management and College of Business Administration at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. Goss has twice taught in Missouri State's joint business degree program with Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, China. He is a cofounder and the editor-in-chief of the forthcoming Journal of Sport Administration & Supervision and has authored or co-authored several peer-reviewed refereed journal articles, one book chapter, and numerous trade journal articles. His research agenda centers largely on organizational behavior in sport and sport marketing. Goss's vita includes 56 professional conference presentations, including 29 at the international and national levels. He serves on the review boards of the Journal of Business Cases & Applications and the International Journal of Business Disciplines, and he served for three years on the Sport Marketing Quarterly review board.

    Kelby K. Halone (PhD, University of Oklahoma, 1998) is in the Department of Communication Studies at West Virginia University. His research agenda theoretically and empirically examines the pragmatic intersection of relational processes and processes of organizing, how institutional processes become communicatively manifest at micro and macro levels, and how face-to-face and mediated processes interactively contribute to cultural dynamics underlying (inter)group, relational, and organizational health. He has published in outlets such as CommunicationYearbook, Journal of Communication Inquiry, American Behavioral Scientist, Mass Communication & Society, Electronic Journal of Communication, International Journal of Listening, Communication Quarterly, Communication Reports, and Sociology of Sport Journal. In addition to his academic endeavors, he has professional experience working in, and consulting for, corporate business, state government, athletic administration, and health organizations.

    Marie Hardin (PhD, University of Georgia, 1998) has been an Associate Professor of journalism at Penn State University since 2003, is director of the university's Center for Editing Excellence, and is associate director of its Center for Sports Journalism. She teaches classes in reporting, editing, and sports media. Her research concentrates on diversity, ethics, and professional practices in sports media; her work has been published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, Sex Roles, Newspaper Research Journal, Mass Communication & Society, Journal of Sports Management and The Howard Journal of Communications, among others. She received the Deans’ Award for Integrated Scholarship in 2005. Before completing her PhD, she worked as a newspaper reporter and editor; she has also worked as a freelance magazine writer.

    Kurt Lindemann (PhD, Arizona State University, 2006) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at San Diego State University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in ethnography, performance studies, and organizational communication. His interest in disability and sport stems from growing up with a father who was a wheelchair marathon road racer and participating with him in longdistance races. His research focuses primarily on the ways gender and identity are performed in organized and mediated contexts, and has garnered numerous top paper awards from national and regional communication associations. He is currently finishing up a four-year ethnographic study of wheelchair rugby players. His work has been published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Journal of Communication, Western Journal of Communication, and Disability Studies Quarterly.

    Mary G. McDonald (PhD, University of Iowa, 1995) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health, and an affiliate with the Women's Studies program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her scholarship focuses on feminist and cultural studies of sport, the media, and popular culture and explores power relations as constituted along the axes of race, class, gender, and sexuality. She is coeditor with Susan Birrell of Reading Sport: Critical Essays on Power and Representation (Northeastern University Press, 2000), an anthology that explores the representational politics of sport celebrities and controversial incidents in sport. McDonald is guest editor of a special issue of the Sociology of Sport Journal, “Whiteness and Sport,” published in 2005. She is also a former president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.

    Lindsey J. Meân (PhD, University of Sheffield, 1995) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Arizona State University. Primarily taking a social constructionist perspective, her research interests are identities, discourses, language, and culture with a particular interest in sport, gender, race, diversity, and organizations. Her work has been published in journals such as Discourse and Society, Communication Yearbook, and Sex Roles, and she is the coauthor, with Angela Goddard, of the textbook Language and Gender (2000; 2nd ed., 2007).

    Andrew L. Tyler is a recent graduate from the DeVos Sport Business Management program at the University of Central Florida (UCF), earning masters degrees in both Sports Business Management and Business Administration in 2006. While at UCF, Drew served as a graduate assistant for Dr. Richard Lapchick. Alongside Lapchick, Drew helped to prepare the 2004 Racial and Gender Report Card, served as student editor for New Game Plans for College Sport, and coauthored 100 Heroes. A Clemson University undergraduate, Drew also amassed a great deal of experience in professional athletics working for the Orlando Magic, Memphis Redbirds, and Charlotte Knights. Drew currently serves as Director of Operations for the Missouri Valley Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Lawrence A. Wenner (PhD, University of Iowa, 1977) is the Von der Ahe Professor of Communication and Ethics in the College of Communication & Fine Arts and the School of Film & Television at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is former editor of the Journal of Sport and Social Issues and his books on sport and communication include MediaSport and Media, Sports, and Society. His new book (with Steven Jackson), Sport, Beer, and Gender in Promotional Culture, will be published by Peter Lang in 2008.

    Erin Whiteside is a PhD, student at Penn State University, studies in the college of communication's Center for Sports Journalism, and assists in research areas that include gender and diversity issues in sport and sports media. Her work has been published in Newspaper Research Journal, Mass Communication & Society and Visual Communication Quarterly. Before beginning her PhD, studies, she worked in the sports industry for Major League Baseball as a publications editor and for Penn State athletics as a public relations manager.

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