Race, Sport and Politics: The Sporting Black Diaspora

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Overview

This is the first book-length study to address sport's role in 'the making of race', the place of sport within black diasporic struggles for freedom and equality, and the contested location of sport in relation to the politics of recognition within contemporary western multicultural societies. Race, Sport and Politics shows that over the past century sport has occupied a dominant position within Western culture in producing ideas of racial difference and alterity while providing a powerful and public modality for forms of black cultural resistance.

Written by one of the leading international authorities on the sociology of race and sport, it is the first book that centrally locates sport within the cultural politics of the black diaspora and will be of relevance to students and scholars in fields such as the sociology of culture and sport, the sociology of race and diaspora studies, postcolonial theory, cultural theory and cultural studies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From tennis to soccer, basketball to boxing, football to golf, the visibility of black athletes within global popular culture is beyond dispute. Rejecting the view that the level playing field of sport provides compelling evidence that we have moved beyond the racial inequalities of the past, Race, Sport and Politics suggests instead that sport has long constituted an important site of struggle for racist and anti-racist projects alike, and that ideas about "the black athlete" persist as central to contemporary racial politics. In this intellectual tour-de-force, Carrington navigates the troubling contradictions of race and sport, helping us see that when we forgo blind celebration of the exploits of black athletes we might see new paths for racial progress
Patricia Hill Collins
Distinguished University Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Maryland

Ben Carrington's book makes a striking contribution to a critical understanding of the troubled relationship between sport and 'race'. In creating a rare discursive space from which 'the black athlete' can speak beyond the usual clichés, and challenging insidious essentialisms that aspire to be progressive, he demonstrates convincingly the deep influence of sport on contemporary racialised meanings and ideologies
David Rowe
Centre for Cultural Research (CCR), University of Western Sydney

Despite the growth in scholarship on sport and culture in the last two decades, issues of race have received far less attention than is warranted. Ben Carrington's book Race Sport and Politics offers a valuable addition to the field. It is a fresh, lively and stimulating discussion that should constitute a key starting point for all lecturers, students and general readers with an interest in sport and culture
Garry Whannel
Centre for International Media Analysis, Research and Consultancy (CIMARC), University of Bedfordshire

'...an intense sociological engagement with the intersection of...race sport and politics in twentieth century Britian and USA. Ben Carrington is a well-established and well- respected author in the areas of sociological theory, 'race', culture and sport and this book reflects his passion'
Usha Lyer
The Sociological Imagination

While Carrington throws up some excellent examples within his book, its best attribute is undoubtedly the depth and extent of his use of theory. He draws on a wide range of sociological theory and applies it in an illuminating fashion. In doing so, he throws light on under-investigated areas and shows up flaws in previous explanations, so that even readers with considerable expertise in the areas of the sociology and politics of sport cannot help but learn a great deal from this book
Wendy Varney
idrottsforum.org

The book's central argument is that sport is deeply implicated in the 'making and remaking of race beyond its own boundaries'. In this way an understanding of sporting culture enables us to grapple with the reproduction of race thinking and the wider operation of racism...One of the great merits of this book is that it does not focus on the obvious tired examples, and there is only passing discussion of Muhammad Ali or Tommie Smith and John Carlos' famous protest at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Carrington's empirical range is more imaginative, which means that the reader is constantly being informed and surprised. Sports provided the opportunity to expand the possibilities of black selfhood, political identity and human value...This is a beautifully crafted, important and prophetic book. It questions the way in which black sporting success has been used as a symbol of multicultural progress. As a semiprofessional footballer himself Ben Carrington knows this from the inside. He must have followed with interests from his home in Texas the recent controversies in England about racial abuse by Premier League footballers. His book anticipated these events and shows that sporting multiculture masks complicated forms of racism that endure inside the institutions of sport and beyond
Ethnic and Racial Studies

Ben Carrington merges in this book the areas of sport, ‘race’, politics and sociological theory. His approach reveals a very interesting viewpoint about the relations between sport and race, and its combined influence in the last century. In this sense, Carrington’s work goes beyond some of the traditional ways of thinking about race and sport...Race, Sport and Politics makes a big contribution to race and sport studies, with an extensive, relevant and useful bibliography...Carrington’s book is very useful for students, lecturers and general

readers interested in cultural, historical and sociological issues related to sport

and ‘race’
European Journal for Sport and Society

The overall strengths of this book are manifold. They are also greatly enhanced by the author's skilful creation of a discursive space in which 'race' is centralized as a key element in the making of modern sport and in shifting scholarly emphasis towards using sport as a site 'for the generation and not merely application of social theory'... Carrington provides a critical, thoughtful and stimulating contribution to the largely underdeveloped and marginalized study of the sociology of 'race' and sport, and the book should be considered to be an essential text for students and critical scholars with an interest in sport and culture
Steven Bradbury, Loughborough University
International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics

Patricia Hill Collins
From tennis to soccer, basketball to boxing, football to golf, the visibility of black athletes within global popular culture is beyond dispute. Rejecting the view that the level playing field of sport provides compelling evidence that we have moved beyond the racial inequalities of the past, Race, Sport and Politics suggests instead that sport has long constituted an important site of struggle for racist and anti-racist projects alike, and that ideas about "the black athlete" persist as central to contemporary racial politics. In this intellectual tour-de-force, Carrington navigates the troubling contradictions of race and sport, helping us see that when we forgo blind celebration of the exploits of black athletes we might see new paths for racial progress.
David Rowe
Ben Carrington's book makes a striking contribution to a critical understanding of the troubled relationship between sport and 'race'. In creating a rare discursive space from which 'the black athlete' can speak beyond the usual clichés, and challenging insidious essentialisms that aspire to be progressive, he demonstrates convincingly the deep influence of sport on contemporary racialised meanings and ideologies.
Garry Whannel
Despite the growth in scholarship on sport and culture in the last two decades, issues of race have received far less attention than is warranted. Ben Carrington's book Race Sport and Politics offers a valuable addition to the field. It is a fresh, lively and stimulating discussion that should constitute a key starting point for all lecturers, students and general readers with an interest in sport and culture.
Steven Bradbury
The overall strengths of this book are manifold. They are also greatly enhanced by the author's skilful creation of a discursive space in which 'race' is centralized as a key element in the making of modern sport and in shifting scholarly emphasis towards using sport as a site 'for the generation and not merely application of social theory'... Carrington provides a critical, thoughtful and stimulating contribution to the largely underdeveloped and marginalized study of the sociology of 'race' and sport, and the book should be considered to be an essential text for students and critical scholars with an interest in sport and culture.
Ethnic and Racial Studies
The book's central argument is that sport is deeply implicated in the 'making and remaking of race beyond its own boundaries'. In this way an understanding of sporting culture enables us to grapple with the reproduction of race thinking and the wider operation of racism... One of the great merits of this book is that it does not focus on the obvious tired examples, and there is only passing discussion of Muhammad Ali or Tommie Smith and John Carlos' famous protest at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Carrington's empirical range is more imaginative, which means that the reader is constantly being informed and surprised... This is a beautifully crafted, important and prophetic book. It questions the way in which black sporting success has been used as a symbol of multicultural progress. As a semiprofessional footballer himself Ben Carrington knows this from the inside. He must have followed with interests from his home in Texas the recent controversies in England about racial abuse by Premier League footballers. His book anticipated these events and shows that sporting multiculture masks complicated forms of racism that endure inside the institutions of sport and beyond.
European Journal for Sport and Society
Ben Carrington merges in this book the areas of sport, ‘race’, politics and sociological theory. His approach reveals a very interesting viewpoint about the relations between sport and race, and its combined influence in the last century. In this sense, Carrington’s work goes beyond some of the traditional ways of thinking about race and sport... very useful for students, lecturers and general readers interested in cultural, historical and sociological issues related to sport and ‘race.
Wendy Varney
While Carrington throws up some excellent examples within his book, its best attribute is undoubtedly the depth and extent of his use of theory. He draws on a wide range of sociological theory and applies it in an illuminating fashion. In doing so, he throws light on under-investigated areas and shows up flaws in previous explanations, so that even readers with considerable expertise in the areas of the sociology and politics of sport cannot help but learn a great deal from this book.
Usha Lyer
An intense sociological engagement with the intersection of race sport and politics in twentieth century Britian and USA. Ben Carrington is a well-established and well-respected author in the areas of sociological theory, 'race', culture and sport and this book reflects his passion.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Ben Carrington teaches sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, USA, and is a Carnegie Visiting Research Fellow at Leeds Metropolitan University. His research interests include the politics of race and sport within the black Diaspora, masculinity and national identity formation, and the nature of cultural resistance within the arena of popular culture.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

List of Figures

Introduction: Sport, the Black Athlete and the Remaking of Race 1

1 Sporting Resistance: Thinking Race and Sport Diasporically 24

2 Sporting Redemption: Violence, Desire and the Politics of Freedom 63

3 Sporting Negritude: Commodity Blackness and the Liberation of Failure 101

4 Sporting Multiculturalism: Nationalism, Belonging and Identity 137

Conclusion: Race, Sport and the Post/colonial 169

References 178

Index 193

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