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Hoop dreams: professional basketball and the politics of race and gender

Banet-Weiser, Sarah (1999) Hoop dreams: professional basketball and the politics of race and gender. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 23 (4). pp. 403-420. ISSN 0193-7235

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0193723599234004

Abstract

This article focuses on development of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), exploring the gendered and racialized meanings that surround both male and female professional basketball players. It examines the social, cultural, and political consequences of the challenge the WNBA poses in terms of shifting these meanings. Professional male basketball players, especially Black men, have been marketed as fetish objects, so much so that personality, glamour, and “bad boy” behavior have become the primary hallmarks of the sport. In light of these narratives, this article argues that increasingly, WNBA athletes are rhetorically marked as a “return to the game.” Although problems remain, including access to funding, media exposure, and general credibility as a sport, this article speculates on what the WNBA can tell us about a more general shift in popular culture regarding representations of masculinity and femininity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/jss
Additional Information: © 1999 SAGE Publications
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2018 16:05
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2018 16:05
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/89213

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