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Susan Lagaert, Mieke Van Houtte and Henk Roose

We study (fe)male adolescents’ interest in watching sports as a spectator using logistic multilevel analyses based on a representative sample of 5837 Flemish (Belgian) pupils in the first year of secondary education. To uncover the mechanisms behind the ‘gendering’ of passive sports consumption, this study evaluates how the gender gap (characterized by higher male involvement) relates to the gender identity, experienced pressures for gender-conforming behavior and gender role attitudes of the students. Results indicate that the gender gap in interest is to a large extent related to the studied mechanisms. The findings have implications for research on the feminization of sports fandom and call for further analysis of the processes behind the gender gap in consumption of different sports with masculine or feminine connotations and of on-site and TV spectatorship.

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Charles Macaulay, Joseph Cooper and Shaun Dougherty

There are two cultural narratives often purported within the American sports cultures of basketball and football. First, those participating within these sports are African American athletes from poor communities lacking educational and economic opportunities. Second, the meritocratic myth perpetuating American society feeds the notion no matter where an individual is from their talent will elevate them to the next level. There have already been a few studies who have challenged these myths. This study seeks to continue the conversation by collecting community data on 7,670 high school football recruits for the years 2000 to 2016. This study seeks to provide a broad overview of the interscholastic football landscape as well as determine production levels of schools. This study finds that while players are recruited from a diverse range of communities and school types, as a school becomes more productive they tend to be located within wealthier urban communities, have a diverse student body, and have a higher likelihood of being a private school.

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Michael Dao

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Garrett Bunyak

The increasingly popular sport of feline agility animates human and feline bodies through the construction of rules, obstacles, technologies, and norms. Feline agility, then, involves the management and control of the lives and bodies of both species to meet the expectations of agility competition. In extending Michel Foucault’s concept of biopower to analyze interspecies sport, the current paper suggests two prominent governing organizations of feline agility, International Cat Agility Tournaments (ICAT) and Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), construct human and feline subjects based on a binary construction of a human, capable of acting responsibly, and a feline that lacks a capacity for responsibility. Consequently, humans are constructed as “agility citizens” and are responsibilized to perform the training, enhancement, and optimization of human and feline lives and bodies in the image of normative lifestyle and health dictates pursued principally through acts of consumption. Within narratives of “agility citizenship,” the human subject is positioned to control the feline subject, obscuring and negating feline agency and resistance. Donna Haraway’s concept of “response-ability” is suggested as one avenue to promote interspecies flourishing in sport.

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Sharyn G. Davies and Antje Deckert

Women now compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship for which Muay Thai is a feeder discipline. It is timely to analyze how the tools of this pugilist trade, women’s bodies, are lived and discursively positioned. We explore how bodily attributes (strength and beauty) are positioned vis-a-vis women fighters by drawing on 17 interviews with women Muay Thai fighters. We argue while women are in control of their bodies and proud of their strength, normative narratives of fighting being unfeminine must be combatted. Theoretically, we expand discussion of gender and the body by deploying the ‘pretty imperative’ to examine how women’s quotidian practices open space for other women fighters and by engaging the notion of ingenious agency to reveal women’s strategic efforts for inclusion and acceptance.

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Laura A. Gale, Ben A. Ives, Paul A. Potrac and Lee J. Nelson

This study addressed the issue of interpersonal trust and distrust in the (sporting) workplace. Data were generated through cyclical, in-depth interviews with 12 community sports coaches. The interview transcripts were subjected to emic and etic readings, with Hardin and Cook’s theorization of (dis)trust and Goffman’s dramaturgical writings providing the primary heuristic devices. Our analysis produced three interconnected themes. These were a) how the participants’ decision to (dis)trust contextual others was based on their perceptions of encapsulated interests, b) those strategies that the participants employed to judge the trustworthiness of colleagues, and c) how the participants’ workplace bonds with coworkers differed according to their perceived trustworthiness. Importantly, this study revealed how interpersonal (dis)trust for these individuals was informed by the pursuit of various professional interests, uncertainty regarding continued employment and career progression, and was subject to ongoing strategic interaction and reflection. Based on these findings, we believe there is much to gain from the micro-level exploration of “how” and “why” sports workers seek to negotiate and manage workplace relationships.

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Liam Kennedy, Derek Silva, Madelaine Coelho and William Cipolli III

There exists a broad body of scholarly work that focuses on how communities, and individuals therein, mobilize, respond, and harvest collective action in response to tragedy. Despite this interest, there remains a dearth of empirical investigation into the complex intersections of tragedy, sport, and community. Utilizing qualitative approaches to discourse analysis and quantitative measures of sentiment, semantic, and content analysis of news media articles (n = 151) and public tweets (n = 126,393), this paper explores the ways in which public responses to the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash present a relatively narrow representation of both Canadian and local Prairie identity. We conclude with a discussion of some of the implications of collective action in response to specific forms of tragedy.