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ERIC Number: EJ1070321
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
"Race" Talk! Tensions and Contradictions in Sport and PE
Hylton, Kevin
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v20 n5 p503-516 2015
Background: The universal sport discourses of meritocracy and equality are so engrained that few challenge them. The most cursory interest in sport, Physical Education (PE), and society will reveal that the lived reality is quite different. Racial disparities in the leadership and administration of sport are commonplace worldwide; yet, from research into "race" in sport and PE, awareness of these issues is widespread, where many know that racism takes place it is generally claimed to be somewhere else or someone else. For many, this racism is part of the game and something to manipulate to steal an advantage; for others, it is trivial. This paper explores the contradictions and tensions of the author's experience of how sport and PE students talk about "race" and racism. "Race" talk is considered here in the context of passive everyday "race" talk, dominant discourses in sporting cultures, and colour blindness. Theoretical framework: Drawing on Guinier and Torres' [2003. "The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy." London: Harvard University Press] ideas of resistance through political race consciousness and Bonilla- Silva's [2010. "Racism Without Racists: Colour-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States." Plymouth: Rowan and Littlefield] notion of colour blindness, the semantics of "race" and racialisation in sport and PE are interrogated through the prism of critical race theory (CRT). CRT is used here to centre "race" and racialised relations where disciplines have consciously or otherwise excluded them. Importantly, the centring of "race" by critical race scholars has advanced a strategic and pragmatic engagement with this slippery concept that recognises its paradoxical but symbolic location in society. Discussion: Before exploring "race" talk in the classroom, using images from the sport media as a pedagogical tool, the paper considers how "race" is recreated and renewed. The paper then turns to explore how the effortless turn to everyday "race" talk in the classroom can be viewed as an opportunity to disrupt racialised assumptions with the potential to implicate those that passively do so. Further, the diagnostic, aspirational, and activist goals of political race consciousness are established as vehicles for a positive sociological experience in the classroom. Conclusion: The work concludes with a consideration of the uses and dangers of passive "race" talk and the value of a political race consciousness in sport and PE. Part of the explanation for the perpetuation of "race" talk and the relative lack of concern with its impact on education and wider society is focused on how the sovereignty of sport and PE trumps wider social concerns of "race" and racism because of at least four factors: (1) the liberal left discourses of sporting utopianism, (2) the "race" logic that pervades sport, based upon the perceived equal access and fairness of sport as it coalesces with the (3) "incontrovertible facts" of black and white superiority (and inferiority) in certain sports, ergo the racial justifications for patterns of activity in sport and PE, and (4) the racist logic of the Right perpetuated through a biological reductionism in sport and PE discourses.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A