Out of Bounds

Out of Bounds

Sports, Media and the Politics of Identity
Edited by Aaron Baker and Todd Edward Boyd
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/22/1997
Format: Paperback 7 b&w photos, 1 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-21095-1
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Out of Bounds is a collection of essays that regards the media representation of professional sports through the lens of cultural studies. Editors Aaron Baker and Todd Boyd contend that the popularity of sports derives not simply from their appeal as leisure entertainment but from their contribution to discussion of larger issues of class, race, gender, and masculinity. Essays in the collection challenge media wisdom about the apolitical nature of sports by examining how they contribute to the contested process of defining social identities. Included within a broad range of works are "‘Never Trust a Snake’: WWF Wrestling as Masculine Melodrama," (Henry Jenkins), "Mike Tyson and the Perils of Discursive Constraints: Boxing, Race and The Assumption of Guilt" (John Sloop), and "Visible Difference and Flex Appeal: The Body, Sex, Sexuality, and Race in the Pumping Iron Films" (Christine Holmlund).

Author Bio

Aaron Baker teaches in the Interdisciplinary Humanities program at Arizona State University. He is currently working on a book about sports in American film and television.

Todd Boyd, Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at the USC School of Cinema-Television, has published in numerous journals, and is the author of Am I Black Enough for You? (in this catalog).


“From the testosterone-addled hijinks of the World Wrestling Federation to the image of Black masculinity in the NBA, this collection of essays examines the media representation of professional athletics—through the lens of cultural studies—by challenging conventional media wisdom about the apolitical nature of sports.”

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Table of Contents

Preface: O. J. and the Imperative of Sports in Cultural Studies Todd Boyd

Introduction: Sports and the Popular Aaron Baker
Part I: Sports and the Revision of Masculinity
1. Television Sports as Mas(s)culine Cult of Distraction Ava Rose and James Friedman
2. Female Spectators and the Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight Film Dan Streible
3. "Never Trust A Snake": WWF Wrestling as Masculine Melodrama Henry Jenkins

Part II: Sports, Race and Representation
4. "America’s" Apple Pie: Baseball, Japan-Bashing, and the Sexual Threat of Economic
Miscegenation Kent Ono
5. Mike Tyson and the Perils of Discursive Constraints: Boxing, Race, and The Assumption
of Guilt John Sloop
6. The Day the Niggaz Took Over: Basketball, Commodity Culture, and Black Masculinity
Todd Boyd

Part III: Hollywood Sports Films and Contested Identities
7. Visible Difference and Flex Appeal: The Body, Sex, Sexuality, and Race in the PUMPING IRON Films Christine Anne Holmlund
8. A Left/Right Combination: Populism and Depression Era Boxing Films Aaron Baker
9. Baseball in the Post-American Cinema, or Life in the Minor Leagues Vivian Sobchack