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Fallen Sports Heroes, Media, and Celebrity Culture
     

Fallen Sports Heroes, Media, and Celebrity Culture

by Lawrence A. Wenner
 

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This book has won the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award 2014.

Fallen Sports Heroes, Media, and Celebrity Culture focuses on the increasingly ubiquitous phenomenon whereby notable figures from the sporting world fall from grace in full public view on the main stages of media. While such falls are of remarkably varied character, they fuel

Overview

This book has won the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award 2014.

Fallen Sports Heroes, Media, and Celebrity Culture focuses on the increasingly ubiquitous phenomenon whereby notable figures from the sporting world fall from grace in full public view on the main stages of media. While such falls are of remarkably varied character, they fuel questions about the role of the sports hero, the co-mingling of sport and celebrity culture, and the changing nature of moral fault lines in contemporary society. In examining the «hero to villain arc» of sport celebrity, this volume features leading scholars from the fields of media, sport, and cultural studies who bring diverse vantage points to understanding how contemporary sport celebrities become heroes and gain fame and then fall precipitously from grace through a variety of «sporting offenses.» The sagas of star athletes as well as coaches and sportscasters are examined running the gamut from substance abuse (from performance-enhancing and recreational drugs to alcoholism) to sexual «improprieties» (from bad sexual manners to sexual assault to sex addiction to homophobia to questions over verification of sex) to routine thuggery (aimed not only at opponents but seen in extracurricular gun play and dogfighting) to questionable politics (demonstrating loyalties ranging from «good» nationalism to «bad»). The intriguing analyses featured here make us think about our cultural preoccupation with sports, the prospects for finding heroes in celebrity culture, and the moral complexities that are engaged as sport heroes fall and sometimes rise again redeemed.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
«The stars of sport become figures in public discourses about moralities, lifestyles and values. [...] This impressive collection, comprising contributors who have been central to analysis of these processes over many years, is an indispensible guide to the place of the sport hero, celebrated or reviled, in contemporary culture.» (Garry Whannel, Professor of Media Cultures and Director of the Research Institute for Media Art and Design at the University of Bedfordshire, UK and author of ‘Culture, Politics, and Sport’)
«Unlike celebs from other spheres of culture, athletes are also expected to be heroes and role models. This increases the likelihood that they will disappoint fans and fall from favor. The insightful articles in this collection explain the dynamics and consequences of this rise and fall process and help us better understand celebrity culture and the role of sport in society.» (Jay Coakley, Professor Emeritus, University of Coloradp. Colorado Springs and author of ‘Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies’)
«The breadth, depth and global reach of these essays compel us to say to our fallen heroes, ‘Our nations turn our cynical and forever disappointed eyes from you.’ But they also make clear that we will engage in a perpetual quest to create new heroes as we worship one of the most powerful institutions on this planet - sport.» (Mary Jo Kane, Professor of Sport Sociology and Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, University of Minnesota)
«This collection is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes stories of many of the world’s most famous athletes, their rise and especially their fall. A diverse set of lively scholars examine the underside of sport celebrities, those stories that seem «more than we wanted to know” about a star but can't put down. The result is a garden of earthly disasters and delights that will captivate any close observer of sports. [...] Game on!» (Michael Real, Professor of Communication and Culture, Royal Roads University, Canada and author of Super Media and Exploring Media Culture)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433112997
Publisher:
Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers
Publication date:
04/30/2013
Pages:
381
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.04(d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence A. Wenner (PhD, University of Iowa) is Von der Ahe Professor of Communication and Ethics in the College of Communication & Fine Arts and the School of Film & Television at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is editor of the journals International Review for the Sociology of Sport and Communication and Sport. His books on sport include Media, Sports, and Society; MediaSport; and Sport, Beer, and Gender: Promotional Culture and Contemporary Social Life (with Steven J. Jackson).

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