THE EROSION OF THE AMERICAN SPORTING ETHOS … RECONSIDERED

BY

JOEL NATHAN ROSEN

Foreword by Dominic Standish


January 1, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-9832982-3-6
Paperback,  TSI Press

 

Available at online bookstores everywhere on Jan. 1, 2020.

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Joel Nathan Rosen casts a forensic historical light on the culture war currently raging in American sport. This second edition of The Erosion of the American Sporting Ethos comes at a crucial time when elite sport finds itself under siege from an array of naysayers who decry athletic competition.
        —Dr. Carlton Brick, co-author Key Concepts in Sports Studies 

Fifteen years after its initial publication, The Erosion of the American Sporting Ethos continues to be remarkably contemporary. The updated information shows how the nature of competition in sport has both changed and has remained the same.
        —Dr. Lisa Doris Alexander, Wayne State University
 
The first American professional sporting event was most likely baseball, beginning in 1876. There were norms adhered to and a certain amount of pride of rising to the task and, of course, pride in winning. Along comes Professor Rosen arguing that all of this has changed for the worse.
        —Dr. Earl Smith, Emeritus Rubin Distinguished Professor of American Ethnic Studies and
            Sociology, Wake Forest University
 
Joel Nathan Rosen argues convincingly that if you want a fuller understanding of the role of competition, look no further than sport. In a thoughtful and wide-ranging critique of the contemporary understanding of competition as it is contested in sport, Rosen provides a crucial context for further discussions and brings scholarly research and an encyclopedic knowledge of sport together in an acute analysis of a key feature of American culture and identity.
        —Dr. Uppinder Mehan, CAO, Western Kentucky Community and Technical College

About the Author
Dr. Joel Nathan Rosen is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA. His research focuses primarily on the relationship between human activity and stratification as informed by cultural idioms such as music and sport. He is the author of From New Lanark to Mound Bayou: Owenism in the Mississippi Delta (Carolina Academic Press, 2011); co-author of Black Baseball, Black Business: Race Enterprise and the Fate of the Segregated Dollar (University Press of Mississippi, 2014), and the co-editor of a five volume series on celebrity athletes and the construction of challenging reputations (University Press of Mississippi, 2008-2021).

About the Book
This work examines American sport from its traditional roots to the influence of the 1960s-era counterculture and the rise of a post-Cold War ethos that reinterprets competition as a relic of a misbegotten past and anathema to American life.
 
Keywords
Competition, Culture, Inequality, Counterculture, Sportsmanship, Violence, Racism, Feminism, Role Model, Masculinity, Comparative Social Sciences, Race, Gender, Ethnicity, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Global Studies, Political Economy

Readership
Advanced undergraduates in sociology, anthropology, communications and media studies, history, American studies, African American studies, and general readers interested in sport and sport studies.

Contents

      Foreword: Sport Locked Down
Dominic Standish
      Preface: Reconsidering an Aging Manuscript
      Preface (2007): A Nation at Play
      List of Figures
 
      Introduction: Through a Prism of Discourse
      Shifting Attitudes toward Competition
      A Clashing of Cultural Imperatives

    1. Sport in a Broader Context

      Post-Cold War Anxieties and Countercultural Values
      Risk and the Rise of Victim Culture
      A Recoil from Excellence
      Masculinity Reconsidered
      Toward a Modern Critique of Competition

  1. Establishing of a Competitive Ethos

      Leisure and the Closing of the American Frontier
      A Transitioning Workplace
      Reform Measures and Victorian Interventions
      Muscular Christianity
      Boy Workers
      20th Century Sport
      Beyond Accepted Boundaries
      The Toy Department            

  1. Sport and the Countercultural Shift

      The Countercultural Turn
      A Challenging Critique
      Race and Its Impact
      Curt Flood and the Reserve Clause
      Enter Women’s Sport
      A New Public Face

  1. Moral Tensions in Modern Sport

      Sportsmanship
      Hypercompetitiveness
      Pete Rose and the Future of Immortality
      Hypermasculinity, Aggression, and Violence in Sport
      Role Modeling and Mentoring through Sport
      The Doping Panic

  1. Youth Sport in America

      Childhood and Child-Rearing Today
      Youth Sport under a Microscope
      Confronting Authority
      Competing Assessments
      On Coaching and Winning
      The Wussification Debate
      Parental Disturbances at Youth Sporting Events

  1. Sport and the Self-Esteem Conundrum

      Self-Esteem in the New Century
      A Brief History of Self-Esteem
      The Debate
      Youth Sport in the Age of Self-Esteem
      Psychologizing Youth Sport

  1. Difference and Discord in 21st Century Sport

      Inside New Margins
      Sport’s New Color Line
      An Expectation of Malice
      Out in Team Sport
      Gendering Competitiveness
 
      Conclusion: W(h)ither Sport?
      Running With (or Perhaps Without) Caster Semenya
      A Level Playing Field?
      CODA
 
      Appendix
      Bibliography        
      Index