All posts tagged with 'sport'
1:30 p.m., Saturday, April 16, room 715 | Faculty respondent: Jaeho Kang
A Weekend in the Life: Narrative Identity
As a sociological and media phenomenon, sport, particularly soccer is a central issue in many current debates around modernization and globalization. This research paper takes a narrowly scaled approach to analyze forms of identity creation and social cohesion through the lens of international soccer broadcasts. I analyze the content, and to a lesser extent the economic contexts, of two specific match broadcasts from the weekend of November seventh, 2010: A.S. Roma versus S.S. Lazio in Italy and Liverpool FC versus Chelsea FC in England. The goal is to identify structures and themes in narrative formation. Interestingly the two matches feature opposing narratives. The Italian match broadcast privileges the localized passion of the fans in the stadium, while the English match broadcast emphasizes the redemptive story of a key player. By comparing these two very different narrative approaches, I complicate the often mechanistic institutional and economic analysis of soccer’s ever expanding media presence. Drawing from the work of Giulianotti and Castells, I argue that a spirit of cosmopolitanism allows global fans to move beyond market-based identities and creatively adapt global club identification to their own local context. This more aesthetic brand of cosmopolitanism opens the possibility of new avenues for the expression of identity that are limited neither by local historical/cultural nor by market-driven/consumerist dimensions.”
Supplementary materials: Chelsea v. Liverpool Nollywood trailer | Montedio Yamagata supporters sing and choreograph “Blue is the Color”
The Virtualizing Effects of Sports Simulation
Traditionally, the goal of broadcasts of sports on television has been to simulate an “ideal” viewing experience. Cameras are situated so as to recreate for viewers the experience of having the best seats in the house. Most fans, however, will never physically occupied this place; for most, their primary visual experience of sports comes from a different place: video games.
The result is that increasingly, it is through the aesthetic tropes and conventions of video games that fans come to understand and visualize sports. For instance, in many simulation games the camera is disembodied and virtual; rather than presenting the viewpoint of an actor or narrative observer. Figure 1 illustrates this difference in auto racing.
These changes to the collective visual aesthetic conception of sports have had dramatic impact upon the decisions made by broadcasters. While previously the goal of televised virtuality was to “place” the audience at the event, increasingly the goal has been to reproduce the simulated, virtualized place occupied by the camera in video games. Figure 2 compares the camera positions in Madden NFL football and the shot from the “Skycam” during a live NFL broadcast. The result is that reality is increasingly “virtualized” in order to simulate the game world.
While the integration of the video game aesthetic into the dominant media visual aesthetic has been handled ably in previous research, this converse aspect of the process has been largely ignored, and deserves more thorough study. This paper is an attempt to begin such a project
Let the Ball Do the Talk
In recent years youth sporting cultures have started receiving critical attention across disciplinary boundaries. According to Giardina and Donnelly (2008: 9), ‘youth sporting culture has become a battleground of social combatants struggling over the boundary lines of group identity and affiliation, over the very definition of citizenship and belonging’. Significantly, however, the sport practices of young people have yet to receive due critical attention by visual ethnographers and media practitioners. By adopting the visual as a medium rather than an object of analysis (MacDougall, 2006), my doctoral research looks at football, aka soccer, as an arena where “intercultural and transcultural dynamics” (cf. Baumann 1997:15) evolve and where young people can negotiate their individual and collective roles away from the potential restraints of family and school environments. Through textual and audiovisual modalities of representation, this paper will foreground my ethnographically situated doctoral practice with Irish and non-Irish members of two youth football teams – and the adult members of the clubs – in Dublin 15, a residential location with the highest national percentage of immigrant families in Ireland. Using the video camera as a catalytic instrument of inquiry, in my fieldwork I have engaged with questions surrounding the expression of both subjective and collectivized identities among adolescent boys, how sport can create bonds between subjects of different backgrounds or indeed exacerbate cultural differences, and how the insertion of an imaging device shapes and determines the articulation of transcultural exchanges.
Max Mauro was born in Switzerland, the son of Italian immigrants, and raised in Italy. Trained as a journalist, he has published two cycling travel books, and an awarded study about the lived experience of migrants to and from Italy. Before moving to Ireland to start a PhD he has lived and worked in Venezuela and Germany. He has always been passionate about football (aka soccer) and in recent years has been involved in short documentary film projects about this sport. More at www.ctmp.ie
Alex Campolo is an MA student in the department of Media Studies at the New School. A New Jersey native, he now resides in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. He graduated with a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Virginia and maintains a strong interest in language and narrative forms. At the New School he has researched a variety of topics including cassette culture, and media spectacle in sports. He is currently proposing a thesis project on the stock ticker as a media object capable of structuring time. Outside of academic activities, his many interests include live rock music, DJing on New School Radio, and coaching soccer.