Not Playing Around

Watch the Superbowl? This week's review explores how sport shapes public perception of marginalized communities.

Not Playing Around: Intersectional Identities, Media Representation, and the Power of Sport

ed. by Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito, Tracy Everbach, and Karen Weiller-Abels Lexington Books, 2022
340p bibl index, 9781793654670 $120.00, 9781793654687 $45.00

Not Playing Around: Intersectional Identities, Media Representation, and the Power of Sport book cover.

This collection of articles by authors from different disciplines and continents, including North America, South America, and Europe, focuses on identity politics of marginalized communities participating in sport and how it can impact the wider culture. Overall the book argues that sport provides the space for the participation and showcasing of marginalized identities, and that because sport operates as a public arena, it can shape the public view of these identities, serving as a vehicle for social change. Each chapter concentrates on a different marginalized identity, examining how race, gender, disability, and sexuality “have developed and influenced social change” (p. 6). Chapters combine both scholarly perspective and responses from stakeholders from marginalized groups on their lived experiences. Some chapters explore the association of certain sports with particular identities and the impact of sports media on the cultural acceptance of marginalized identities. The editors do not claim to provide an exhaustive examination of the topic, but express their goal of highlighting some examples of how sport influences the cultural construction of identity by creating spaces for athletes to build community and showcase how different groups can coexist. The book should appeal to a broad audience given the popularity of sport, but especially because the voices of stakeholders are included.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals. General readers.
G. K. Hearn, Idaho State University
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Women’s & Gender Studies, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Studies, Racial Justice
Subject: Science & Technology – Sports & Recreation
Choice Issue: Mar 2023

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