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ERIC Number: ED517942
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 226
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-5356-8
A Qualitative Study of a Native American Mascot at "Public University"
Brune, Michelle Lyn
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri - Saint Louis
At the time this study began, there were approximately 60 senior colleges and universities using Native American mascots or nicknames to represent their athletic teams (Fournier, 2003). Many Native Americans, coalitions, organizations, and researchers (Connolly, 2000; Davis, 2002; King & Springwood, 2000; NCAA, 2001) believe that these mascots are racist stereotypes of Native Americans and recommend that they be banned. In contrast, other people believe that Native American mascots signify honor and tradition. Differing meanings or opinions create an obvious conflict and each viewpoint includes a set of arguments to justify their beliefs. For example, many universities claim their alumni will stop contributing to the university if the mascot is removed. For the purpose of this study, the theory of semiotics was used to explain different meanings associated with Native American mascots and nicknames. The civil rights movement was successful in decreasing the number of offensive African-American images and caricatures (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 2001). However, it did not diminish the use of Native American images. Native American images and caricatures are used in everything from company logos to sports team mascots. The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the removal of a Native American Mascot at one university. Data for this study was gathered from public and university records, ten personal interviews with faculty, staff, alumni, and community members, and one focus group with twenty-one students. The study examined historical documentation regarding the university's mascot/nickname, the recent process that was used to change the mascot/nickname at the university, and opinions from students, faculty, alumni and the community regarding the university's former Native American mascot/nickname. The opinions that were gathered from the documents, interviews, and focus group and were coded using the most common themes that support and oppose Native American mascots found in literature. Overall, 153 opinions were coded in opposition of the Native American mascot and the most common theme was Code O7: Marketing and School Spirit. Overall, 543 opinions supported the use of the Native American Mascot and the most common theme was code S1: Honor, Respect, and Pride. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America