Lecture 6 “Exploring Critical Sporting Femininities through Film”
Patriarchy systematic and historical legacy of male domination or privileging of masculinity and maleness in Western Society/USA.
Hierarchical logic – in this lecture, this notion refers to the ways in which many social groupings privilege maleness and masculinity over femininity. In film, we will look at where patterns emerge, and where to be a woman in a sport film often means to be relegated to a space of subordination and to be a man means to be occupying a space of power.
Gender Binary Sports was used to promote certain visions of how men and women are fundamentally oppositional. This binary logic was often used to promote masculinity and deny women from participating in sport and in ways that would allow them to excel in sports and embody some of the physical attributes of male
I. Historical Norms of Femininity and Masculinity
a. 19th century was when sport begin being popular but females were excluded from this.
b. Sport= making muscular [male] Christians.
c. Sport promoted patriarchy from the beginning
d. Women only engaged in sport that were deemed socially acceptable e. There are a number of dominant cultural “framings” of what it means to be feminine in U.S. society. Many of these frames depict women as: i. Victorian female “activewear” wore skirts and dresses to play Don't forget about the age old question of What is the bernoulli principle?
Don't forget about the age old question of What does bipolar means?
ii. Emphasized aesthetics and bodily conduct defined as becoming of women
iii. Passive, docile, slender
iv. Dressed in specific attire – soft,
v. Sports played were cycling, gymnasium, yachting and tennis
f. Through sport, the meaning of what a woman is is defined
II. Sport’s Changing Gender Politics
a. The gendered body is given meaning and authority within certain spaces. b. Multiple or pluralistic femininities emerging within western societies that sometimes conflict with one another
c. Preferred femininity (soft subtle yet slender) opposite to dominant maleness (muscularity, capacity for violence, strength)
d. Gendered Identity – The athlete’s body is the key site for promoting gender. Gender is expressed through their physical performance, how they dress and how they conduct themselves through their body.We also discuss several other topics like What is the harlequin chromosome?
e. Effects of the Passage of Title IX in 1972
i. Increased rates of participation in the US for girls and young
women in school sports and competitive sports.
ii. Upsurge of success of women athletes
iii. Access to sports which, translates to success in the international field
III. Sports that Challenge Norms of Preferred Femininity
a. Soccer the most popular sport in terms of participation.
i. It often challenges, yet perhaps simultaneously reinforces, gender norms of what it means to be a woman. Femininity is emphasized yet there is an increased element of physicality.
ii. Women use their bodies physically
iii. This is troubling for a broad audience which are used to women playing sports in a way that reinforces what women are “supposed to be”
b. Women’s Professional Football essentially a new sport
c. Wrestling The number of women is increasing. Women participate in coed wrestling.
i. In so doing, the girls and young women are challenging basic assumptions about which gendered bodies ‘belong’ in that sporting space. Don't forget about the age old question of What are some examples of innate immunity and acquired immunity in animals and humans?
d. Weightlifting and Throwing – women athletes in these sports, and in other sporting contexts, are not necessarily concerned with shape, size, form or aesthetics but are concerned with effectiveness and execution of the skill.
i. This is referred to as Instrumental sporting femininity—that is, the body is primarily a site of resultsoriented elite sport performance. e. Contemporary Flat Track Roller Derby – Organized by and for women. i. Some elements of traditional femininity are coopted and
transformed by athletes. There are a number of interesting films
about this sport!
ii. Women’s only sport. Run by women for women
f. Synchronized Swimming
i. Paradox as it is a reinforcement and accentuation of traditional feminine norms of style, grace and make up.
ii. Yet these athletes have the capacity for endurance, physical agility, which, are perceived as masculine traits in the sporting realm. Don't forget about the age old question of What is cardiac output and how is it calculated?
g. Mixed Martial Arts
i. Reemergence or return to certain emphasized norms in terms of how society locates women within those norms. This sport has the capacity for violence and physicality.
IV. Invading Male Preserve
a. We see a masculine feminity.
b. Their physicality invades a space that is usually male
c. Female masculinity the demonstration that power, strength and aggeession are as much female as male attributes.
We are increasingly seeing examples where women have been denied access to a sport for decades but have recently begun to unsettle traditional gendered identities and disrupt the sport’s gendermaking function by way of inclusion in that sport.
V. Sexploitation – The reassertion of sporting emphasized femininity by way of the reaffirmation of a compulsory heterosexuality.
a. See this in MMA.
b. In sports, a successful woman athlete tends to have her sexuality questioned and can be typecast as gay or lesbian.
c. One way the media (and filmmakers) relocate the women’s gendered identity, and her preferred femininity, is by reestablishing her
heterosexuality. This serves two functions:
i. 1) reinforces traditional gender norms and 2) allows the media entity to capitalize upon the celebrity through the commodification of her athletic body. Don't forget about the age old question of What is considered a professional corporation?
d. Many critics argue that the woman athlete is thus made into a sex object first and an athlete second by media and women athletes (e.g. Gabrielle Reece).
i. Jan Stephenson LPGA. Said women aren’t the best athletes, men are. So we should capitalize on women’s sex appeal because sex sells.
ii. But will this grow the sports or just grow women’s sexuality/other mediums that focus on sexuality?
VI. Women in Sports Films
a. Major Themes:
i. Woman athlete as Empowered through Sport (ex: doc Hell on Wheels)
1. Suggest that through sport we can transgress gender norms
but usually this message is woven into other dominant
messages like race, ability, or paternalistic messages
ii. Woman athlete as sexualized or objectified
iii. Paternalism toward the woman athlete male figure as coach or guide for the woman who helps her achieve
iv. Woman as Distraction the male athlete istrying to get on with serious sports business but the woman is distracting him
v. Woman as Temptationuses sexuality to leverage it against the male athletes as they try to be successful
vi. Woman as Nuisance women is there to interrupt the work the
males are trying to get down in the serious sports world
vii. Woman as Nepotist woman inherits her position in the sporting realm. Subtext is woman has no place in sport, but since she’s in
the family, she gets interjected into the world. Reinforces negative
viii. Woman as AntiMasculine “playing like a girl”
1. What it means to be a woman is defined against
Emerging or instrumental femininity – The way in which women have been portrayed by media as objects ancillary to sport.
Residual Femininity – Increasingly popular forms of women sports, for example, roller derby, football that challenge gendered norms of objectification and commodification.
Daniels’ “You throw like a girl” article notes
What is the purpose of the article, “You throw like a girl?”
∙ The article was written to investigate how language directed toward ale athletes in sport genre films may have contributed to the traditional and collective belief about girls and women and their involvement in and relation to sport today.
What are the two primary factors that Daniels claims are foundational to the beliefs and practices about girls and women’s participation in sport?
∙ The social and economic conditions that led to the first wave of feminist activities in North America
∙ The movement to rekindle the spirit of sport and manhood through the rebirth of the Olympic Games
According to Daniels, what are some of the roles portrayed in film by women? ∙ A literal weakness for men women (more specifically, sex with a woman) were said to drain a man and interfere with his ability to perform as an athlete. ∙ A wife usually sitting in the stands on in the “Players’ Wives” section ∙ A cheerleader potential sex partner. Easy on the eyes.
∙ The only woman on the team cause of conflict, some joke.
What is the main function of misogynistic commentary in sport films? ∙ To motivate the men and make them play harder.
Boyle, Millington, Vertinsky Article Notes
According to Halberstam (1998), what is “female masculinity”?
∙ “Masculinity without man” the concept is used to account for, and render legit, female performance traits and desires normally attributed to men.
What are the authors aiming to uncover by troubling the film’s depiction of women’s boxing in the movie Million Dollar Baby?
∙ The authors are trying to show that while the film tries to celebrate women athletes it falls short because of its depiction of the main character (and other characters) as dependent on men.
∙ All the women in the film are somehow “bad” some are overly passive while others are unnaturally aggressive.
What does Bell Hooks (1995) use the phrase “Doing it for daddy” to describe? ∙ This describes situations where racial and gender hierarchies are reproduced through popular representations of white women and black men in relation to white males. In short, characters wanting to please some white male figure.
What is the authors’ conclusion about Million Dollar Baby, specifically what is it subscribing to?
∙ The authors conclude that MBD is about men. They reason that the film looks like a nice tale about a woman athlete from the outside, but there are deeper issues.
Lecture 7: Violent Masculinities: Mediating Hegemonic (White) Masculinity Definitions:
Gender is the social construction of sex (a biological construct). It is often thought of as a cultural binary, which is defined in social interactions as two oppositional elements that are distinct from, if not diametrically opposed to, one another.
Masculinity, according to many societal norms, is usually associated with being the leader, actor, aggressive, powerful, strong, calm, pragmatic, subject, and dominant.
I. Theorizing Masculinity
a. Gender is a cultural binary. You are one or the other.
i. They are presented as opposites oppositional positioning of
femininity and masculinity in broad terms is considered to be a
consequence of patriarchy.
ii. Femininity is seen to be inferior, weak.
b. The above is seen as a consequence of patriarchy.
i. Patriarchy a set of personal, social, and economic relationships that enable men to have power over women and women’s roles
within those social formations.
ii. Patriarchy is deeply tied to history and typically men have held the position of privilege in most walks of life.
c. Historically, we have seen the emergence of micropolitics of patriarchy i. privileging men over women. Seen in institutions, like higher education, politics, the media, military, religion, and the family
ii. Men earn more money than women across all ages even when men and women are equally qualified.
iii. Patriarchal institutions assert women as being associated with social support, care, and nurting. Associate men with power and authority
iv. All of this emerged out of the notion that women are inferior. In early societies, men dominated based on strength, aggression, and violence which granted men positions of leadership.
II. Hegemonic Masculinity
a. commonly accepted ideas of the male form and male function. How a society often perceives how men should present themselves both in their performance of masculinity and their embodiment of masculinity.
b. Historically sport and the military have been key institutions where hegemonic masculinity is promoted. For example, after the U.S. Civil War, men were thought to be losing strength and vitality. In late 1800s, American Football was used to “rescue” men. The idea was simple: by playing a violent team sport, young men could learn to embody and perform a dominant hegemonic masculinity.
c. In recent times, things are challenging this:
III. Crisis of Hegemonic Masculinity
a. The “queering of the American Man”. The soccer player, David Beckham, who embodies the traditional notions of masculinity but also demonstrates the embodiment of being a family man
b. “Soft” Masculinities. Again this does not sit well with many in American society, as it is not representative of the John Wayne and the traditional hard masculinities of the American forefathers.
c. Another theme that is seen as a crisis is the coming out of gay players in sports
d. This crisis of challenging hegemonic masculinity is not new and in most mainstream American discourses. However, today perhaps more so than in any previous era, we are repeatedly told by the media that the American man is under assault. In turn, Hollywood (and Sporting Hollywood in particular) reinsert a hard, tough, mythologized hegemonic masculinity in the public sphere.
e. Hollywood heavily emphasizes hegemonic power.
IV. Rescuing of (White) Masculine in Film
a. Mosaic masculinitiesrefers to process of men drawing on fragments of hegemony to understand/reformulate what it means to be a man. According to Coles.
i. Gone with the Wind – The man in the lead role rescues his
manhood through his sexual conquest of a woman.
ii. The Outlaw Josie Wales – Death and killing as manhood. Mans capacity for death and to create death for another is a significant feature of what it means to be a man in Hollywood.
iii. The Godfather Mans ability to command other men. Calculated pragmatism in dealing with the situation and rescuing his
iv. Tombstone – Masculinity as control. Mans ability to command other men. Power and control over others and space. Typical of
what it means to be a man in America
v. Full Metal Jacket – Man as commander. Physical imposition on junior officer.
vi. A Few Good Men – Security as masculinity. The man is the provider of security for the family, organization or nation.
Violence for the sake of nonviolence.
vii. Wall Street – Business as manhood. The businessman as
embodiment of savvy, cutthroat, entrepreneurial masculinity.
V. The Reagan Revolution/Hollywood Manhood
a. In the 1980s, the cinema was an important way in defining masculinity during the Reagan Revolution. The book Hard Bodies80s movies reinforced Reagan era policies and programs.
b. Americans were unsettled by the rise of the Soviet Union, the Cuban missile crisis, and the slowing of the economy. Regan was able to restore America’s economic strength and morale. He embodied the idea of recovering the American empire.
c. During that period, actors like Jean Claude Van Dam, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger came to embody an idealized Reaganera hardbody masculinity. Hollywood was telling a similar story in telling the world that the American man was able to go in other territories and other
parts of the world and through military imperialism, economic imperialism was able to reassert itself in the larger global setting.
VI. Films Representing Man in America Today
a. Apocalypse Now – embodied hard tough American masculinity. Pragmatic cold relationship to war. The necessity of death as an important part of nation building.
b. Christmas Vacation man as unapologetic and crass in social settings saying something of what it means to be an American man
VII. Role that Sport Plays in Defining Masculinit(ies)
a. Sport offers a unique site to emphasize the body with physicality: strength, violence, etc. Athletes, through sports, become the embodiment of
b. Sports that entail explosive physical power and domination are elevated in our culture and are expressed through aggressive bodily contact and collision. For example, boxing American football and MMA. These can be categorized as hypermasculine sport performances and often coalesce around, in, and through what Messner (2002) calls the “triad of violence.” c. HyperMasculine Sport Performances
i. Physical strength and stamina
ii. Physical toughness and bravery
iii. Capacity for physical violence
iv. Assumed/compulsory heterosexuality
v. Unemotional pragmatism
d. All this lead to:
VIII. Messner’s Triad of violence includes:
a. Violence against other athletes – violence is an essential part of the game. The body is used as a weapon to create violence against another body. If the violence is taken out, it loses the appeal to the audience.
b. Violence against themselves – body becomes site of pain and that pain is a point of pride for the hyper masculine athlete. This makes them need to use drugs to alleviate pain.
c. Violence against outsiders – domestic violence and violence against animals.
“Private Satisfactions….” Giroux article notes
According to Giroux, what are the characters in the film Fight Club rebelling against? (See page 5)
∙ According to Giroux, the characters are rebelling against “a consumerist culture that dissolves the bonds of male sociality and puts into place an enervating notion of male identity and agency.”
How does the film define the “violence of capitalism”? (See page 5) ∙ It defines it almost exclusively in terms of an attack on traditional (if not regressive) notions of masculinity
What do Jack and Tyler represent in the film according to Giroux? (See page 12) ∙ They represent two opposing registers that link consumerism and masculinity.
How is violence treated in Fight Club? (See page 16)
∙ Violence is used both as a form of voyeuristic identification and a pedagogical tool.
Lecture 8: Social Class Based Themes in Films
I. Theorizing Social Class people think America is a:
a. Meritocracy people who contribute to society most get the highest standing in society.
i. So someone who is perceived to contribute more to society will have a higher standing, while someone who is perceived to
contribute less to society, will have a lower standing.
ii. This is usually defined around economic wealth or political
b. Egalitarianism equal. Everyone has a fair chance. If you work hard enough, you’ll make it.
i. Has some truth. But in reality that is a myth, as it is an
impossibility that if everyone works hard, everyone will make it.
ii. That does not make for real life in society. However, the myth of egalitarianism serves important political and ideological functions
that serve particular interests.
c. Classlessness b/c of meritocracy and egalitarian, America is classless. Belief that we don’t have social classes
i. In reality, someone has to work in in a factory or a lowwage serve job, or someone has to work as a teacher, or someone has to work
as a banker or the economy falls apart.
ii. Everyone cannot earn the same income or the economy crashes. Thus, there is a division of wealth/income that creates varied
social class positions.
d. Some many people can “make it” but the people who are born into certain social classes are more likely to make it.
e. Most societies are stratified—meaning that there are different strata (or social classes) in society that are organized in a hierarchy that positions
persons who are born into wealth (finance and influence) with more advantages than those not.
i. The more you have, the more you have control over your life. Conversely if choices are limited the pathway to making it is
f. Social Class emerges defined by common groups in America, who share some of commonalities with regard to: Wealth, Income, Occupation, Lifestyle, Education, & Social network
i. Social class influences life chances and life experiences
ii. We reproduce our social class position and class differences through our offsprings and their offsprings.
iii. The Cycle of Class Reproduction: Education Occupation
iv. An example of the stratification of social class can be seen in the types of sports played by the different groups.
1. sports like polo, golf, and lacrosse = upper class groups,
while sports like boxing, basketball and football= the lower
end of the social class hierarchy.
II. Some Notes of Interest
a. The United States has a disproportionate wealth distribution. The rich people are making most of the money: 43% of the wealth is owned by 1% of population in the US. 80% of population has 7% of the nation’s wealth.
b. The bottom 60% of Americans make less than they made in 1979 but the top 20% is making more.
c. There is significant increase in the number of families inhabiting the working class. Social scientists have shown that more and more people who are born in the working class social scientists have shown that more than likely will die in the same class.
d. There is less upward mobility today than most other historical periods
III. Meritocracy in Pop Culture
a. Throughout U.S. history, books and films have often portrayed the rags to riches narrative (basically, pulling oneself up by the bootstrap). But statistics show that narrative to be a myth.
b. Hollywood Meritocracy same concept. Ex: Pretty Woman, Maid in Manhattan.
c. Class Passing by Audrey Foster shows how popular media are used to promote the idea of upward mobility. Conversations about class tend to be avoided because then it means dealing with a broader systemic issue in society. Bell hooks says we are afraid to have a dialogue about class. It’s the “uncool” subject.
d. America on Film This film unpacks the history of meritocratic sensibility in pop culture. Historically, books and film have each been used to reinforce or challenge the idea of meritocracy.
IV. Debunking the Myth of American Meritocracy
a. The following are popular media forms that have been used to challenge dominant myths of meritocracy:
i. Books The Jungle by Upton Sinclair tells the story about a
meatpacking factory in Chicago
ii. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Oklahoman farmers are set up for exploitation when they move to California to push down the cost of labor
b. Following are films that have been used to challenge the idea of meritocracy in America
i. Robin Hood–challenges the hierarchy in place and band together with the oppressed Saxons to overthrow the ruling class. See the Errol Flynn version (1938), it’s very good!
ii. Spartacus – Overthrowing class rule in film. he leads a group of slaves against the Roman Empire. Willing to die as a group instead of individual gain. Check out the film directed by the great Stanley Kubrick.
iii. Lagaan (land tax) – Overthrowing class rule in film. musical sports drama about a town that is under British colonial rule. It
provides a narrative that shows how sports can be used to
challenge broader structures.
iv. There Will Be Blood and Gangs of New York– the violence of class rule in film. Both are films that show the how established
and ingrained some hierarchies are and what it would take to break through them.
V. Contextualizing Cinderella Man
a. Cinderella Man is a sport film that is directed by Ron Howard and used to promote the history of that time during the Great Depression. James Braddock was an up and coming boxer who broke his hand. He
subsequently struggled in fights due to the injury, and his ranking fell. He was then forced to turn to welfare but tried to get work when he was able to. He then gets to fight Max Baer and unexpectedly defeats Bayer. Braddock did not fight for 2 years then fought Joe Louis who defeated him.
b. Joe Louis prior to fighting Braddock fought Schmeling and lost. He returned to America from Germany after that loss and was demonized by white America as a black athlete who had failed them. The second time, America was at war with Germany and he beats Schmeling. He was then praised by white America as a symbol of the nation in this time of conflict. As the context changes in 1936 when white Americans celebrated Schmeling’s victory over Louis, a white man defeating a black man and shifts 2 years later to all Americans hailing an American over a German. We see race, nationalism, and ideology come together and coalesce in this
period of time between 1936 when Louis loses to Schmeling, in 1937 when he defeats Braddock and 1938 when he defeats Schmeling.
c. Things to look for in the movie:
i. How Howard connects working class conditions of the Great
Depression to the stresses and uncertainty to what many workers in
America had during the time that the film was made and what was
the onset of the Great Depression.
ii. How he uses Braddock to define ideas of responsibility. Where Braddock goes back and repays welfare. Basically saying the
nation is there for him but he should not rely on it. Which ties into
some of the broader narratives about a segment of the population
that relies on the government for their wellbeing.
iii. How Max Baer is treated as a clean, very specific, even
nationalistic version of political ideology.
Reading Notes Baker Chapter
The article focuses on three groups of movies that characterized Hollywood’s portrayal of working class identity. How is the third group described and what movie was used to exemplify this group? (p. 3)
∙ The third group is described as a diverse group of movies that passionately try to transcend class and race. Rocky is the example for this group.
What does Robert Ray say about Hollywood’s thematic paradigm? And which movie does he use as an example? (p. 4)
∙ The thematic paradigm= Hollywood’s refusal to take sides in ideological debates, preferring to instead assert that an unlimited potential for new achievement and wealth in American can overcome conflict. He used The Champ as an example.
According to the article, what does the 1950’s movie, The Ring, endorse? (p.15) ∙ It endorses the view of America as a society that will reward hard work and excellence no matter who you are.
Reading NotesDave Zirin
What does Zirin consider a real tragedy of the film Cinderella Man? ∙ The treatment of Braddock
What does Zirin consider the most noxious scene in the movie Cinderella Man? ∙ When Braddock returns to the welfare office with his kid and pays back every cent he received.
Lecture 9: Emerging Sport Cultures: The Commercial Capture of Sporting Alternative I. Theorizing Subculture
a. Subculture group of people with their own distinct
characteristic/aesthetics that sit outside the dominant culture.
i. For example, while we might think of Elvis, the Beatles, or
Michael Jackson as exemplars of mainstream pop culture, artists who sound different, use different aesthetics, etc. might be
examples of subcultural musical form.
ii. Out of the subculture, emerges subculture identities the
individual’s expression of an affinity/membership of a particular grouping which distinguishes the person
b. Subcultures can be based around: sport, film, dance, religion, location, gender, generation, culture, ethnicity style etc.
c. To listen to certain types of music, like certain sports, etc. labels people as insiders or outsider status the degree to which an individual
exemplifies/performs subculture quality.
d. Subcultures identify itself by their sense of coherence and belonging through their “relationship of difference” with the mainstream culture. e. Depending on their nature, subcultures can be: deviant, resistant, or counter
II. Emergence of Countercultures
a. Over time, as subcultures are folded into the mainstream, different ways of creating that membership and belonging emerge, these are often through consumption.
i. For example, getting a tattoo or even buying a Tshirt. Below are some of the subcultural groups:
b. 1960s Hippie Counterculture Movement – This was a group of people who, through art, performance, and the way they conducted themselves, created a lifestyle that ran contrary to what was considered the mainstream American life.
c. The Green or Environmental Countercultural Movement – A subculture that promoted practices of conservation and sustainability. These behaviors challenged the status quo and mainstream cultural practices and ideas of farming practices and industrial practices, etc.
d. Resistant Subcultural movements
i. AntiGlobalization Protest Movement – In 1990s 2000s People were on the streets in places like Seattle, London, and more
recently on Wall Street. These people were protesting and resisting policies and mainstream economic and cultural practices.
ii. Punk Movement – Midtolate 1970s, this movement started in the UK. They used music art, aesthetics, and dress to resist dominant cultures. Cutting their hair in particular styles and dressing in a
particular fashion were ways in which they resisted mainstream
culture and conventions of the time.
e. Deviant Subcultural Grouping
i. Illegal activities that are frowned upon like using drugs ex:
ii. Illegal activities adopted which subvert the norms and rules of mainstream culture ex: terrorist groups, criminal subculture
f. Subculture groupings and boundaries are formed through commitment to and expression of common factors such as:
ii. Personal style/aesthetic
iii. Cultural preferences
iv. Language codes/expressions
v. Bodily practices/behavior
g. But as they try to be different, there is commonality. Still conform at times such as conforming within the group to be a part of the group.
III. Subcultural Incorporation/Colonization
a. Many subcultural trends become mainstream. Businesses try to profit off them.
i. One such example is Bob Dylan who was able to mimic Woodie Guthrie’s accent and folk politics for commercial use. Woodie
Guthrie was popular among middle class America and Bob Dylan capitalized on that knowledge.
b. Cooptation – subcultures are being hijacked for specific reasons for example commercial purposes to capitalize on specific markets.
c. Other examples:
i. The Mod movement – 1960 a subcultural movement in London modernist and critical modernist aesthetic
ii. The Goth subculture This group emerged in the 1980s as a post punk cultural critical movement. However today a lot of young
women and men are still dressing in goth but in a cool new hip
way. This dress is not necessarily demonstrative of the original
intent of the Goth movement.
iii. Emo – This is a musical form that started in 1980 from the
hardcore punk movement. Musicians are confessional in their
lyrics with a hard rigid sound coupled with thought provoking
iv. Rastafari movement – Bob Marley is a figurehead of this
movement and symbolized by reggae music. The movement
represents the political, cultural, and spiritual movement that was in resistance to the oppression of his ancestors.
v. Punk movement – antiwar, anticapitalism, antifascism, and anti poverty; but now they are they are taken up today are more the pop that are easily transferable and can dance to.
IV. Sport and Alternative
a. Modern sport like football, baseball, volleyball and basketball young people were being trained to become healthy, productive and obedient citizens.
b. Physical Education in early 1900s a form of disciplinary institution to use bodies and conform in specific ways giving themselves over to ruler or manager etc.
i. Team sports made good citizens in a modern capitalist society always in relation to group
c. Mid 1900s sport began to be used to challenge dominant culture. Sports became more aesthetic.
i. Bourdieu (1978) referred to these sports as “Californian Sports”, which include the following features: Creative, Athletecentered, Noncompetitive, Unregulated, Expressions of youthful
iii. Californian sports, skateboarding, surfing became common place. iv. Individualistic lifestyle became an important part of the broader lifestyle in the 1960, 1970 and 1980s in the form of these
v. Alternative sport played an important role in defining that way of life. It was centered on hedonism, individualism and self
expression as a way of fighting against conformity and structure and expressing oneself.
d. But There is conformity in resisting conformity.
e. Skateboarding used the built environment on their own terms (using rails to skate down not walk down) but now its commercialized. ESPN, Nike and the film industry capitalized.
i. One such example is Mountain Dew using skateboarding in an advertisement to market their product to that particular subcultural group.
V. The Battle
a. Tension between subculture autonomy & commercial incorporation which has led to the demise of alternative sporting cultures.
b. Subcultural groups are doing things to resist mainstream but the mainstream is using the resistance and capitalizing on it.
i. An example of this is the French group, Le Parkour/ Free Running young people challenging what the city was used for jumping over building etc. Within a few years commercialization took over in the form of video games, documentaries and movies scenes.
c. Cultural forms that were meant to be forms of political commercial resistant become coopted into significant parts of what they are actually trying to challenge
VI. Filming Alternatives
a. There is a fascination by the public with subcultural groups that perpetuate violence. The film industry is able to capture these subcultural groupings we are not apart of but are fascinated with.
i. We do not belong to them but we are able to understand them
without actually belonging to them through film.
ii. Examples: Romper Stomper, American History X, and This is
England – In these films the skinhead subculture becoming an
important part of film industry and its output. The ethnic
nationalism creates a good story in a commercially viable way.
iii. Clockwork Orange Violent but audience is fascinated. We don’t live in it but we are fascinated by it.
iv. Drug Subculture Trainspotting: extreme nature in which certain cultures live their lives. It is only extreme when it is defined
against the norm. Repo Man – violence and drug subculture
v. Punk Subculture moviesThe Decline of Western Civilization and Suburbia: alternative countercultural lives and what it means to be
a part of those cultures. Control – This depicts a postpunk band in
the 1970s to 1980s. Most significant influencers of music of the
vi. Sport Subculture Films Green Street Hooligans: Represent
subcultural groups where members enact extreme violence on a
regular basis. Explicit representation of what life is like in one of
these football hooligans subcultural groups;
VII. This week’s film notes:
a. Lords of Dog Town – Another film that capitalizes upon ‘California’ sports cultures. Hollywood capitalizes on the skateboarding, surfing and BMXing by making movies to capture the subculture for
Dogtown and Z Boys article notes:
According to Kusz, K. W., how does the documentary Dogtown and ZBoys present the ZBoys? (Page 1)
∙ As a gang of discarded kids who virtually revolutionized skateboarding with an aggressive style, aweinspiring moves and street marts and in the process, transformed youth culture forever.
How is Jay Adams portrayed in the documentary? (Page 11)
∙ He is seen not a criminal but as a person who just mae bad choices. By showing him as a child who just liked riding, we displace/forget his criminal transgressions
What is the importance given to Tony Alva in the documentary? (Page 12) ∙ He is seen as the cool and different whire ZBoy as an attempt to dissociate him from dominant whiteness.