10 October 2011 Summary and Evaluation In the essay “Just Do...What?

Sport, Bodies, Gender,” taken from the book Revisioning Gender published in 1998, Shari Dworkin, and coauthor Michael Messner, examines how social structures of race, class, and gender are present and reinforced in sports. Dworkin and Messner's examination of the relationships between social structures and sports is composed of three main points. First, the authors show how sports have been successful and unsuccessful as “an arena for contesting the status quo” for women and men of color. The second point focuses on how segregation and male dominance remained in sports after the integration of women. The third point discusses how organized sports exhibit and commercializes “cultural hegemony” of gender expectations. Additionally, the authors note that in order for a resistance against “cultural hegemony” to be successful, “it is essential to retain and build upon the concept of social structure.” Dworkin and Messner's begins their argument by discussing how men from “subordinated backgrounds” use sports to challenge dominant social constructs, only to “reproduce” the same social constructs. The authors use Black males as an example to show how the stereotype of a “primative,” violent Black male is reinforced in violent sports. Dworkin and Messner argue that Black men's agency in sports plays a significant role in reproducing the cultural hegemonic discourses of race, class, and gender. The second major point in the essay analyzes the segregation and patriarchy that is evident in sports despite the integration of women. Dworkin and Messner details the effects of Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972 to show how women's sports “have changed in dramatic, but paradoxical, ways.” The authors state that the Act was successful in increasesing female participation in sports, but did not secure gender equality within sports. Dworkin and Messner cite multiple examples of how men continued to have far more opportunities in sports than women. The authors also show how women's sports are controlled by men

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