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Full-Text Articles in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication

Hegemonic Masculinity On The Sidelines Of Sport, Laura A. Grindstaff, Emily West Jan 2011

Hegemonic Masculinity On The Sidelines Of Sport, Laura A. Grindstaff, Emily West

Emily E. West

Nearly a quarter of a century old, the concept of hegemonic masculinity as developed by R. W. Connell remains both influential and contested among gender scholars. In this essay, we use our research on coed cheerleading in the United States as a springboard to explore the bounds and limits of hegemonic masculinity as both cultural script and analytic construct. Cheerleading constitutes a public stage for ‘doing gender’ in ways that highlight normative, taken-for-granted notions of gender difference; consequently, we use cheerleading as a vehicle for asking under what circumstances and to what degree heterosexuality remains central to the enactment of ...


Hands On Hips, Smiles On Lips! Gender, Race, And The Performance Of Spirit In Cheerleading, Laura Grindstaff, Emily West Apr 2010

Hands On Hips, Smiles On Lips! Gender, Race, And The Performance Of Spirit In Cheerleading, Laura Grindstaff, Emily West

Emily E. West

Cheerleading has long been synonymous with “spirit” because of its traditional sideline role in supporting school sports programs. In recent decades, however, cheerleading has become more athletic and competitive - even a sport in its own right. This paper is an ethnographic exploration of the emotional dimensions of cheerleading in light of these changes. We argue that spirit is a regulating but also flexible concept that is deployed in order to manage and uphold ideologies of emotion, and that these ideologies are central to how cheerleading reproduces racialized gender difference. On the one hand, the performance guidelines for spirit stabilize the ...


A Taste For Greeting Cards: Distinction Within A Denigrated Cultural Form, Emily West Jan 2010

A Taste For Greeting Cards: Distinction Within A Denigrated Cultural Form, Emily West

Emily E. West

Greeting cards are a denigrated product category in the United States, and yet consumers use them at high rates across taste formations. Consumers with relatively high cultural capital place a premium on originality in their self-expression, hence greeting cards present a consumption problem because they are a mode of expressing the self through mass-produced means. Based on interviews with 51 people, I show that consumers with higher cultural capital are more likely to prioritize card design over sentiment; select smaller, simpler designs and sentiments; prefer cards that are handmade, look handmade, or remind them of fine art; and are more ...


Expressing The Self Through Greeting Card Sentiment: Working Theories Of Authentic Communication In A Commercial Form, Emily West Jan 2010

Expressing The Self Through Greeting Card Sentiment: Working Theories Of Authentic Communication In A Commercial Form, Emily West

Emily E. West

As mass produced vehicles of sentiment, greeting cards draw attention to the use of socially constructed codes for communicating, even feeling, emotion. This paper describes the results of interviews with fifty-one greeting card consumers, focusing on what makes greeting cards ‘personal’ for them, despite their mass-produced nature. Consumers negotiate their relationships with pre-printed sentiments differently depending on whether their allegiance is stronger to an expressive individualist understanding of authenticity or a ritual perspective, and these allegiances tend to reflect cultural capital. Specifically, suspicion of pre-printed sentiments is common among people with higher cultural capital, while this is the feature of ...


Reality Nations: An International Comparison Of The Historical Reality Genre, Emily West Jan 2010

Reality Nations: An International Comparison Of The Historical Reality Genre, Emily West

Emily E. West

When 1900 House (Hoppe, 2000) premiered in the UK in 2000, a hybrid television form was born that would spawn spin-offs and imitators over the next several years in several other countries. These series place people in historical settings, asking them to leave their 21st century lives behind, and live within the material and social constraints of the past for a period of three or four months. For this chapter I examine a sample of seven historical reality mini-series that aired between 2000 and 2005 in English-speaking countries, ranging from four to eight episodes each. As existing scholarship on the ...


Selling Canada To Canadians: Collective Memory, National Identity, And Popular Culture, Emily West Jun 2002

Selling Canada To Canadians: Collective Memory, National Identity, And Popular Culture, Emily West

Emily E. West

Two media endeavours, the Heritage Minutes and the CBC documentary Canada: A People’s History, hope to serve as a corrective to Canadians’ lack of interest in their history and to bolster national identity. However, the producers do not want to appear propagandistic in a country where there is conflict about what the shape of the nation should be. They accomplish this by appealing to the “on the spot” authority of journalistic representation and the emotional immediacy of dramatic story-telling. They also emphasize the multi-cultural and multi-perspectival nature of Canada’s past. However, ultimately these efforts exist within a larger ...