Matching Items (9)

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You had to be there: extending intergroup contact theory to positive contexts through a participant-centered analysis of fans' experiences at the Olympics

Description

This dissertation investigated positive intergroup contact and communication in the experiences of fans at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Guided by concepts from Intergroup Contact Theory

This dissertation investigated positive intergroup contact and communication in the experiences of fans at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Guided by concepts from Intergroup Contact Theory (ICT), formerly Allport’s (1954) Contact Hypothesis, I asked fans to identify and discuss factors that were relevant to their experiences at the event. These factors are reported in previous literature to foster positive intergroup relations. The fan participants also provided detailed, experience-based rationales for why and how the factors supported each other and created individual models of their experiences of ICT at the Olympics. The study relied on participant-centered, in-depth qualitative interviews using Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) software. Based on an integration of ICT, communication theories, social capital concepts, and calls from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and mega-sporting event industry, the dissertation sought to answer four research questions. It started with a broad approach to the array of previous scholars’ ICT factors in order to identify what factors were present and relevant in fans’ experiences. It also sought to understand why and how the factors worked together by analyzing the ways factors related to and supported each other in Olympic fans’ experiences and producing a composite meta-structure of the factors’ relationships. Additionally, through thematic analysis, the research explored where and when in fans’ experiences the factors emerged and were active. Finally, the study identified the functions that each ICT factor served in fostering positive intergroup contact and communication and offered suggestions for practitioners and organizers of intergroup contexts. The study aimed to make theoretical contributions by addressing gaps and calls in ICT literature, as well as practical contributions by providing insight about how to organize intergroup contexts to foster positive contact and communication. In addition to addressing its research questions, the study provided a comprehensive list of previous scholars’ ICT factors, a preliminary, tentative model of ICT for ideal intergroup contexts adapted from Pettigrew’s (1998) model of group membership transformation for problematic contexts, and promising future directions given the unique, ideal, and unexplored features of the Olympics.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Bonding over the love of soccer is no joke: a mixed method study exploring sense of community, resilience, and cultural adjustment for refugee youth participants

Description

Resettled refugees face numerous challenges including unsafe living conditions, loss of permanent shelter, adjustment to a new culture, loneliness, and separation from family, friends, and community. Of particular importance is

Resettled refugees face numerous challenges including unsafe living conditions, loss of permanent shelter, adjustment to a new culture, loneliness, and separation from family, friends, and community. Of particular importance is the lack of a feeling of sense of community (SOC) within their new surroundings. SOC is not only worthwhile as an outcome of its own, but may also predict additional positive outcomes such as resilience and cultural adjustment. Literature has shown participation in sport can develop youth positively and build social skills, while studies in other regions of the world have also found a sport team setting to be a place for immigrants to experience SOC. In this study, I use a congruent mixed methods approach to both explore the experience of SOC for youth refugees in a soccer club, and examine the relation of SOC to resilience and cultural adjustment. Using photo-elicitation and semi-structured interviews with 11 youth participants, the qualitative portion of the study explored SOC among youth participants. Findings note the presence of SOC as matched to theoretical frameworks both specific to sport, and to a more general theory of SOC. Further data were collected through questionnaires distributed to club members. Results from the quantitative analysis indicate a significant positive relation between SOC and resilience, and SOC and perceived acculturation. This study’s contribution is to illustrate how refugee youth in a sport club in the United States experience SOC, and the impact of that SOC. Results suggest practical implications for sport managers who wish to provide positive sport experiences for youth refugees.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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The Fitness Tourist: Goal Content of Exercisers in the Wellness Tourism Industry

Description

The fitness and wellness industry is expanding at a rapid pace, and part of this expansion includes wellness tourism. Within wellness tourism, fitness related activities and programs are sought by

The fitness and wellness industry is expanding at a rapid pace, and part of this expansion includes wellness tourism. Within wellness tourism, fitness related activities and programs are sought by wellness tourists or more specifically, fitness tourists. Wellness tourism is defined as a journey by people whose motive, in whole or in part, is to maintain or promote their well-being, and who stay at least one night at a facility that is designed to enable and enhance physical, psychological, spiritual and/or social well-being. Inevitably, fitness related activities are offered within wellness tourism, and seem to attract these fitness tourists.

The purpose of this study is two-fold. It is first to examine the goal content fitness tourists possess in this non-traditional exercise context. Second, this study aims to examine the goal pursuits within the promotional content produced by the wellness tourism industry. This study is informed by goal content theory (GCT) which is a mini-theory within self-determination theory (SDT). Developed by Kasser and Ryan (1996), GCT examines how goals pursued by individuals, in this case fitness tourists, whether related to extrinsic or intrinsic content, account for variations in wellness. Extrinsic goals include elements like wealth and appearance, while intrinsic goals include dimensions like community contribution and health management.

Participants were targeted through their consumption of fitness services at wellness tourism resorts in the southwestern United States. The goal content for exercise questionnaire (GCEQ) was distributed to these targeted participants to determine the types of exercisers, intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, who are consuming these services. Additionally, a content analysis was conducted to examine the elements portrayed by the industry within a fitness context. Understanding goal content can allow organizations to create programs supportive of participants’ autonomous motivations which research suggests lead to higher levels of well-being. Using a sample of 100 GCEQs, the study implies fitness tourists are more likely to be white, high income females with stronger intrinsic goal content. Health management, image, and skill development were among the highest ranked goals. A total of 182 images were examined in addition to extensive narrative content on the webpages of these sites suggesting this industry promotes holistic wellness rather than appearance. The results of this study should be used to program physical activity interventions made accessible to low and middle class individuals.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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The Influence of Gender, Race and Intersectionality on Stress in Division I Head Basketball Coaches

Description

Research in intercollegiate athletics has provided a relatively large body of findings about the kinds of stressors found in high profile intercollegiate athletic environments and their effects on student-athletes. Research

Research in intercollegiate athletics has provided a relatively large body of findings about the kinds of stressors found in high profile intercollegiate athletic environments and their effects on student-athletes. Research is less robust regarding stress and its effects on head coaches in high profile collegiate athletics. This study focuses on the types, frequencies, and intensities of stress experienced by NCAA, Division I head coaches. The purpose of the study is to identify the types, frequency, and intensity of stress common to 20 head basketball coaches participating in the study, as well as differences in their experiences based on gender, race and the intersectionality of race and gender. The participants in the study are 20 head coaches (five Black females, five Black males, five White females, and White males). The conceptual framework guiding the study is a definition of stress as an interaction between a person and her or his environment in which the person perceives the resources available to manage the situation to be inadequate (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). The study’s design is an adaptation of prior research conducted by Frey, M., 2007 and Olusoga, P., Butt, J., Hays, K., & Maynard, I., 2009, and Olusoga, P., Butt, J., Maynard, I., & Hays, K., 2011. This study used qualitative and quantitative methods that triangulated results scores on Maslach’s Burn-out Inventory and the Perceived Stress Scale with the thick data collected from semi-structured interviews with the 20 head coaches from each of the three data sources to enhance the validity and reliability of the findings. The researcher analyzed the data collected by placing it in one of two categories, one representing attributes of the participants including race and gender; the second category was comprised of attributes of the Division I environment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Sports do not build character. They reveal it: the influence of athletes and endorsements on race and gender

Description

Athletes and sports seem impervious to criticism. Sports is one of the most popular forms of entertainment within popular culture. Since popular culture is one of the dominant forms of

Athletes and sports seem impervious to criticism. Sports is one of the most popular forms of entertainment within popular culture. Since popular culture is one of the dominant forms of education, it is important to analyze and recognize the ideologies present. How do the images and portrayals of professional athletes in still images and video endorsements reflect and perpetuate hegemonic ideologies of race and gender? How do these portrayals intersect with issues of justice and representation? By using a cultural studies framework with emphasis on representation of race and gender in popular culture, an analysis of the representation of seven athletes in advertising for endorsements was conducted. The seven athletes were chosen based on name-recognition, popularity, success in their sport, and a need for a diversity of races and gender. Using semiotics, the advertisements were coded and themes were presented. Several themes presented in the advertisements: Including (1) white female athletes are presented as sexualized objects, (2) black female athletes are represented using masculine traits, (3) white male athletes are normalized, and (4) black male athletes are presented as successful because of their bodies. These representations are harmful because they do little to nothing to change dominant ideologies. The representation of athletes in advertising reinforce hetero-patriarchal ideologies of race and gender.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Navigating the digital playing field: case studies in social media and sports communication

Description

Sports communication is a vibrant, blossoming research area within the communication discipline. One of the more fruitful directions in sports communication research pertains to social media. Social media has embedded

Sports communication is a vibrant, blossoming research area within the communication discipline. One of the more fruitful directions in sports communication research pertains to social media. Social media has embedded itself in the sports world in a very short period of time. As a result, there is a need for instructional resources that prepare students to understand the nuances and power that social media possess. This research provides the foundation for a case study textbook centered on social media and sports communication. Specifically, four cases dealing with: (a) athletes using social media to encourage input from fans; (b) sports organizations using social media as an agenda-setting tool; (c) negative parasocial interaction expressed to athletes via social media; and (d) athletes using social media to enact image repair are presented. These cases demonstrate that social media is a valuable conduit between athletes and fans that enables athletes and sports organizations to cultivate fan identity and maintain control over public information. The cases also demonstrate that fan behavior via social media can quickly turn problematic, requiring that athletes and sports organizations respond appropriately, yet strategically. The research concludes by offering implications for future social media and sports communication research.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Stresses and distresses of professional Taiwanese tennis players and resources they use to cope

Description

Playing tennis professionally is a stressful profession. However, it has the potential to be even more stressful for players who must move from their home country in order to train.

Playing tennis professionally is a stressful profession. However, it has the potential to be even more stressful for players who must move from their home country in order to train. If not dealt with, these stresses have the potential of causing many negative outcomes, including increasing levels of distress, in these professional tennis players. It is known that resources play a role in reducing or buffering levels of stress and distress among individuals, but there are competing theories as to how this occurs. Using Ensel and Lin's models of stress processes, this is an exploratory study that identifies the stresses and distresses professional Taiwanese tennis players face and the resources they use to cope. Participants included in this study are professional Taiwanese tennis players (2 males and 2 females) who continuously attend national and international tennis competitions and have both domestic and world ranks. Results from the semi-structured interviews revealed that challenges, frustration, resources, and toughness were four general themes to describe stresses and distresses professional Taiwanese tennis players face and the resources they use to cope. Future research for professional tennis players is also discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Hanging in the balance: gendered identity in elite sport

Description

ABSTRACT

Elite experience and careers in judged female sports complicate the binary categories of retirement while they are especially exposed to cultures of abuse, pressure and subjectivity. This thesis is comprised

ABSTRACT

Elite experience and careers in judged female sports complicate the binary categories of retirement while they are especially exposed to cultures of abuse, pressure and subjectivity. This thesis is comprised of multiple voices and experiences from the elite female athletic perspective, including my autoethnographic narrative. Highlighted and discussed are the topics of sexual assault and abuse, family pressure on children to do and excel at sport, the National Team experience representing the United States and subjected bodies and judging. It is an aim of this thesis to culminate all of those factors in the final chapter and hold that the experience and the cultures of athletic identity within synchronized swimming, gymnastics and figure skating not only cannot be explained by current research on athletic identity through retirement but have the capability to retire undeveloped young women by overdeveloped athletic identities. Through a sampling of voices and experiences across different female judged sports, over three decades, the reader will observe similarities that cause these sports to have a culture of solidarity through the aspects they hold in common with each other. The narrative highlights pivotal moments in the lives of the elite female athlete within these sports, which add to the calculation of their athletic identities and the lack of their personal identities. Through reflection and analyses of not only my story, but the interviewees from my original research and that of Joan Ryan’s as well, I aim to voice a mutual experience of elite athletes. Consisting of multiple factors throughout many years we will see through my autoethnography, paralleling with other voices and experiences, how it all intersects and contributes to this: Who am I now and where do I go from here?

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Title IX and the big time: women's intercollegiate athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1950-1992

Description

This project presents an institutional history of women’s intercollegiate athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. By looking to the individual campus, we learn about the

This project presents an institutional history of women’s intercollegiate athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. By looking to the individual campus, we learn about the ways in which administrators, coaches, faculty, and students understood the educational value of college sports. The UNC women’s program began in the 1950s as extramural play and quickly transformed into big-time college sports. By the early 1980s, the women experienced the same tension between academics and athletics at the heart of intercollegiate sports as the men. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, colleges, the media, and most Americans strongly associated the Big Time with the revenue-producing sports of football and men’s basketball. In Chapel Hill and across America, however, all sports teams, men’s and women’s, revenue and non-revenue, felt the effects of the increased professionalization and commercialization of the collegiate athletic enterprise. The history of women’s intercollegiate athletics provides a new window into exploring the benefits and challenges of big-time sports in higher education.

Frances Burns Hogan, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, and her colleagues worked hard to expand sporting opportunities for women. They helped create the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, which provided governance and began hosting national championships in 1971. They collaborated with university administrators and athletic officials to implement Title IX compliance during the 1970s. Hogan and many directors eagerly joined men’s athletic conferences to commence regular season play, and by the 1980s, supported the move to the NCAA. Providing the best competitive experiences for Carolina female student-athletes motivated Hogan’s decisions.

Frances Hogan and women’s directors nationwide determined the nature of women’s intercollegiate athletics. Hogan and her colleagues debated whether women’s sports should be inclusive and participatory or competitive and elitist. They struggled over the tension between the drive to expand women’s sporting opportunities and the desire to maintain educational priorities. They grappled with men in the athletic department who resisted their efforts to gain publicity, access to better facilities, adequate operational support, and the legitimacy enjoyed by men’s teams. By 1985, Hogan’s tireless efforts created the premier women’s athletic program in the Southeast.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015