Stories of Sports: Critical Literacy in Media Production, Consumption, and Dissemination discusses how media demonstrates privilege, policing, stereotypes, confirmation bias, and objectification in a world where the role of athletics in Western society speaks to privilege and power. Contributors use a critical media lens to analyze texts, including newspapers, magazines, film, television, social media, and sportscasts to demonstrate to readers the ways in which sports stories reinforce or disrupt patterns of power and the ways that power is enacted. This book questions the role of the sports-industrial complex in our society and argues that, while healthy competition and physical health can come from bodily exertion, corruption can contaminate these benefits with the wielding of influence and the acquisition of cultural and financial capital. Contributors examine how the ways that resources are allocated, the coverage of certain sports and athletes, and how viewers view competitive arenas speak to power and privilege in ways that can affect both athletes and athletic stakeholders, highlighting the importance of critically examining sports media. Scholars of media studies and sports will find this book particularly useful.
Katherin Garland is associate professor of education at Santa Fe College.
Katie Shepherd Dredger is associate professor and the academic unit head for the Middle, Secondary, and Mathematics Education Department in the College of Education at James Madison University.
Crystal L. Beach is a high school English language arts teacher and basketball coach.
Cathy Leogrande is professor of teacher education at Le Moyne College.
Andraya N. Carter
Katie Dredger, Crystal L. Beach, Katherin Garland, and Cathy Leogrande
Chapter 1: Using Critical Media Literacy Pedagogy to Analyze Colin Kaepernick’s Athletic Activism
Chapter 2: Selling Patriotism On and Off the Field: Media Connections Between Baseball, the Military, and the Government
Chapter 3: Relationships Between Youth-Sports Coaches and Athletes: Messages from the “Best” Sports-Related Films
Luke Rodesiler, Mark A. Lewis, and Alan Brown
Chapter 4: Truth Be Told: The Mutual Responsibilities of Artists and Consumers
Mark A. Fabrizi
Chapter 5: Telling the Story of Youth, Sports, and Disability in Friday Night Lights
Ewa McGrail, J. Patrick McGrail, and Alicja Rieger
Chapter 6: Transforming Diabetes Stigma: The Role of Counternarrative in Sports Media
Chapter 7: Languaging Actions in Sports Media and Students’ Writing About Sports
Richard Beach and Limarys Caraballo
Chapter 8: Performance, Style, and Substance: The Female Athlete
Crystal L. Beach and Katie Dredger
Chapter 9: Booth, Sidelines or Studio: How Place Defines Women Sports Broadcasters on Television
About the Contributors
As voracious consumers of popular culture, our society clearly determines what it values by the narratives constructed and propagated in media spaces, none more so than sport. This collection of essays brilliantly highlights the importance of teaching and using critical media lenses to recognize the influence of the sport narratives explicitly told in popular culture, while also acknowledging the implicitly hidden and ignored narratives intentionally excluded from public consumption and consideration. Representation matters, and context is everything.
This book cured whatever smugness I might have felt as a researcher and teacher of critical media literacy. Although I consider sport a text to be read, much as I do a novel, documentary, comedy show, or class discussion, it is clear after reading this book that I had simply looked in all the wrong places for concepts in need of critique. Beginning with the book’s foreword and continuing throughout, previously missed opportunities for examining media production, consumption, and dissemination fairly jump off the pages. This is a must-read in an era where crowdsourcing can easily bury micro-aggressions, leading to bullying or worse.
This book collects the work of leading thinkers on critical media literacy and sports, providing countless ways in for educators (or teacher educators) trying to find the right approach to engage their students in becoming critical consumers and creators in the world as they find it. What is on one hand intimidating and amazing is how much work there is to do in this focus area, and just how much potential it contains for justice work to happen in America’s classrooms.