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Emily E. West

Gender

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

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

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 ...


Doing Gender Difference Through Greeting Cards: The Construction Of A Communication Gap In Marketing And Everyday Practice., Emily West Sep 2009

Doing Gender Difference Through Greeting Cards: The Construction Of A Communication Gap In Marketing And Everyday Practice., Emily West

Emily E. West

Greeting card communication reflects the highly gendered division of both emotional and domestic labor in American culture. It’s generally thought that American men do not take as much responsibility for sending greeting cards as women, or display competence in this mode of communication, and both survey data and field work with greeting card consumers confirm this overall pattern. For many women, greeting card communication is part of a feminized habitus that includes kinship work as well as routine provisioning for the household. For men, taking an interest in greeting cards can seem like discrediting behavior for heterosexual masculinity, and ...


Cheerleading And The Gendered Politics Of Sport, Laura Grindstaff, Emily West Jan 2006

Cheerleading And The Gendered Politics Of Sport, Laura Grindstaff, Emily West

Emily E. West

Cheerleading occupies a contested space in American culture and a key point of controversy is whether it ought to be considered a sport. Drawing on interviews with college cheerleaders on coed squads as well as five years of fieldwork in various cheerleading sites, this paper examines the debate over cheerleading and sport in terms of its gender politics. The bid for sport status on the part of cheerleaders revolves around the desire for respect more than official recognition by athletic organizations; cheerleaders recognize the prestige associated with sport, a function of its historic association with hegemonic masculinity, and they claim ...