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Social Stacking Theory- Centrality in Sport

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1 Social Stacking Theory- Centrality in Sport
RACE IN SPORT Social Stacking Theory- Centrality in Sport

2 Who is the better athlete?
White Black

3 Hmmmmm?! Top geneticist Steve Jones blurs the issue by saying that the idea that black people are good at sport is meaningless - "I've never seen a pygmy win anything and they're black, too..." - in an effort to dismiss the concept of racial purity. Meanwhile, "race scientist" Jean-Phillipe Rushton posits a view which caused riots on his Canadian campus. He says that black people have a narrow pelvis which helps them run fast but that the downside means they are born with smaller heads and, therefore, smaller brains.

4 Sport Centrality The closer you get to the central/thinking/leading positions in sport, the whiter the athletes get.

5 Stacking Theory Certain positions in sport, and sports themselves, are dominated by athletes of a particular race.

6 Definitions Race: Categories of people (genetically transmitted traits) ... concept of mutual exclusivity (you're either one or the other - can't be both). Ethnicity: Cultural heritage, not based on genetics. Ethnic group: Group of people who share a common cultural background and are therefore socially distinct. Bigotry: A set of attitudes and beliefs which defines a group of people as being different, and inferior to oneself.

7 Implications of the Concept of Race
Contrasting explanations of success: White success - character, dedication, work ethic, intelligence, etc. Black success - natural physical ability Traditional cultural definitions: All-white = white "not" all-white = black Rule of "hypo-descent" If someone had even "one drop of black blood" they were considered black

8 Con’td Legacy of this rule carries over to today:
e.g. Tiger Woods: Thai, Chinese, African American, Native American, white European Yet he is classified as black

9 Race Logic in Euro-American History
Social Darwinism belief that white people are favored by evolution, and deserved to be in power (race logic) Eventually led to institutionalized set of beliefs about relationship between skin color and IQ, character and physical characteristics Underlying belief did not change Joe Louis example (depiction as an animal in published news stories)

10 Racial Stacking in Sport
“Players from a certain racial or ethnic group being either over- or under-represented at certain positions in team sports”

11 Stacking Patterns in Sports
Can you think of any examples?

12 Stacking Patterns in Team Sports
Allocation to playing position is strongly related to the perception of the abilities of the athlete: “thinking positions" have gone to white players MLB: black players concentrated in outfield positions, white players on all infield positions except first base Football: black players: safety, cornerback, end; white players: quarterback, guard, middle linebacker

13 BB: black players - forward; white players - guard and center
Women's VB: black players - spiker; white players - setter and bumber Hockey: French Canadians - goalie, English Canadians - defense British Soccer: black West Indians/Africans - forward positions; withes - goalie and midfielder

14 Swiss skiers are very successful, but are not successful because of biology
Skiing learned early Skiing valued in Swiss culture Other examples: Weight-lifting success of Bulgarian men Cross-country skiing success of Skandanavians Hockey success of Canadians Western racial ideology: explanation of non-white sport success in terms of racial differences

15 Why does racial stacking exist?
Intelligence, leadership and decision-making - white strengths Running and jumping - black strengths Self-stacking: belief that opportunities exist only in certain positions - self-fulfilling prophecy Riders: Sports change, and so does stacking Complex causal chains: history, ethnic backgrounds of coaches, change in positional responsibilities, etc.

16 But… Why is NBA and NFL predominently dominated by ‘blacks’
Why is NHL and skiing dominated by ‘whites’ Genetics or Environment? Is racism blatantly evident in North American sports? Ex?

17 Racism in Sport Have you ever witnessed racism in sport?

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