Racetalk and Sport: The Color Consciousness of Contemporary Discourse on Basketball*

University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
Sociological Inquiry (Impact Factor: 0.79). 08/2011; 81(3):333-52. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-682X.2011.00376.x
Source: PubMed


This article explores how a sample of college students discursively negotiated perceptions of race and ability in the context of mediated sport. A majority of respondents expressed acceptance of a link between racial identity and sport-specific skills. However, rather than articulate this notion overtly and directly, rhetorical strategies, such as disclaimers and coded language, were used. We analyze these responses as a form of “racetalk” (Bonilla-Silva and Forman 2000) to more specifically unpack the significance of discourse within the post-Civil Rights Movement era. Although the language used to discuss race in this sample, like the contemporary era more generally, appears colorblind and progressive on the surface, it is undergirded by a distinct form of color consciousness.

11 Reads
  • Source
    • "Commentators tended to reduce teams or players to a few essential characteristics and make sense of athletes' actions on the field through the " interpreting filter " of stereotypes. For such reasons, Buffington and Fraley (2011) have argued that most Americans are aware of stereotypical beliefs concerning black and white athletes. This statement is well supported by social psychological research in the United States (Stone et al., 1997, 1999). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the present article, we investigate the influence of sociocultural stereotypes on the impression formation of basketball players and coaches. In Experiment 1 (n = 32), participants were shown a picture of a black or white basketball player prior to observation of a point-light video of a player executing a basketball free throw. The participant was informed that the player depicted in the picture was executing the free throw. Results indicated that ethnicity of the target player significantly influenced participant evaluations, demonstrating specific stereotypes about black and white basketball players when evaluating performance. In Experiment 2 (n = 30), results derived from the Implicit Association Test indicated that black players are implicitly associated with athletic player attributes. The results are in line with social schema theory and demonstrate that - similar to findings that have been reported in the United States - a subpopulation of German basketball players and coaches hold specific stereotypes about the abilities of black and white basketball athletes. These stereotypes bias impression formation when coaches and players make assessments of basketball performance.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This work contributes empirical research to racial formation theory (RFT) and systemic racism (SR), demonstrating how these theories complement each other. There are few practical applications of these theories. This research examines RFT and SR from the perspective of hip-hop fans. I qualitatively examine how 23 nonblack women articulate the relationships of race, class, and gender through discussion of hip-hop music and videos that accompany it. Findings suggest that hip-hop is a site of racial formation. Participants spoke from a color-blind perspective and white racial frame so that they perpetuated ideals of systemic racism theory.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Sociological Forum