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Sporting the Nation: Gender, Ethnicity and Whiteness in Swedish Media Coverage of the Olympic Games, 1948 – 1972
Malmö högskola, School of Teacher Education (LUT), Individual and Society (IS).
2007 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

My forthcoming dissertation is a study of how Swedish national identity is constructed culturally, in which I analyse coverage of the Olympic Games 1948-1972 in the popular press. Media representation (text and images) of sport was selected as an interesting basis for exploring ideas on “natural differences” between people and bodies, based on gender, “race” and nationality. Ideas of difference between people have historically been used to explain and legitimize power relations and to (re-)create the nation as an “imagined community”. The method seeks to combine a text-oriented analysis with social history’s attention to historical context. The study shows that representations of female athletes display a passive female body and uphold the boundaries between the sexes. Fears of sport’s masculinizing effect on the female body and mind were negotiated by displacing images of unsexed, mannish women onto Soviet athletes. In the Cold War context, a specific Swedish femininity was constructed: western, white, heterosexual and middle-class. A Swedish masculine ideal, on the other hand, was made clear by contrasting comparison with femininity, but also with subordinated masculinities such as the “black” male athlete. The study show that the athletic achievements of the “black” body had to be explained and presented as restricted to the area of sport. I argue that although Sweden had not been a prominent colonial power, whiteness was nevertheless an important aspect of Swedish national identity in this time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007.
Keywords [en]
sport, genus, etnicitet, idrott
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-11156Local ID: 9583OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-11156DiVA, id: diva2:1408199
Conference
World Congress of the International Sociology of Sport Association & International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport, Copenhagen, Denmark (2007)
Available from: 2020-02-29 Created: 2020-02-29 Last updated: 2022-06-27Bibliographically approved

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http://wwwsoc.nii.ac.jp/jssh/images/ishpes/Announcement_ISSA_web.pdf

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Tolvhed, Helena

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf