Beyond boundaries? 'Race', ethnicity and identity in sport

Sage Publications Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 2010, 45 (3), pp. 251 - 257
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This dual engagement of race and ethnicity widens the scope of analysis, but it also presents challenges, such as contention over what these descriptors are said to represent, and their complex and often contradictory relationship. For example, there is a widespread view that there is no scientific basis to `race, hence the qualifier `race is sometimes highlighted to emphasize the social constructedness of this term and, therefore, the fallacy of biological determinism (Graves, 2001). `Race, in this sense, is simplistically applied to skin colour and stereotypical assumptions about identity and status associated with racialized appearance. Despite its flaws, `race has currency in social practice; as Warmington has put it, `the paradox of race-conscious scholarship (2009: 281) lies in the need to work within, yet against, problematic conceptual tools. Indeed, by placing `race in inverted commas in this context, we have signalled our refusal to legitimize the concept while recognizing its stubborn persistence within language, culture and politics. The articles herein, when taken as a whole, provide the reader with an opportunity for reflection upon sport and societal structures, norms, values, narratives, discourses and symbols in the context of what might be termed ethno-racial studies.
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