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Racism in Sports discussed at blackprof

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5 Responses

  1. Frank says:

    Well, this is an interesting take on the “desensitization” hypothesis:

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061113/blumenthal

    The irony is that, in the course of trying to “call out” the most egregious offenders, the media may well raise the salience of the incidents, and thus their “thinkability.” In other words, Durkheim’s old hypothesis about society punishing crime/ostracizing or shaming bad behavior (in order to solidify norms) may be increasingly invalid in an age of anomie (or for anomic segments of the population), where publicity may just perversely tends to legitimize the highlighted behavior.

  2. Heidi Kitrosser says:

    Sure, I’ve always worried about that effect as well. Or there’s the flip-side effect — everyone rallies in opposition to the obviously egregious behavior, while in the process getting to distance themselves from the behavior and thus missing the many more subtle, deeply ingrained forms of these “isms” in our culture.

    Still, I’ve always held out some hope that by highlighting the particularly egregious stuff, one occasionally can generate social conversations about the less visible norms that they reflect. Of course, I’m not naive enough to think that this succeeds every time!! But the effort might make more sense than the alternatives of either ignoring the behavior entirely OR turning any debate into a call to censor the particular behavior (which I think generally causes the types of backlash effects that you and I reference).

  3. “A number of folks here and elsewhere have commented upon what appears to be an uptick in racial callousness among Republican candidates for public office.”

    tell me about it – here in Maryland, first surprisingly it was Kweisi Mfume now it’s predictably Republican Michael Steele trying to derail the Democratic establishment’s message of non-callousness as encompassed by Ben Cardin.

    but on the plus side, we have the courageous Durham NC Prosecutor Mike Nifong who has steadfastly avoided any hint of racial callousness in the Duke Lacrosse case by steadfastly standing by his main (and apparently only)witness (well, not literally stand by her – that might mean actually having to talk with her about the case) because, well we all now what the “because” is…wouldn’t want to come across as racially callous in an election year.

  4. Frank says:

    MC: Regarding the classic rhetoric of “both sides do it:” this article is interesting, if anecdotal:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2152671/

  5. magdy says:

    more inforamation about law and sport

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