Publication Date

2018-07-27

Availability

Embargoed

Embargo Period

2020-07-26

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2018-04-26

First Committee Member

Jomills H. Braddock II

Second Committee Member

Marvin Dawkins

Third Committee Member

Tywan G. Martin

Abstract

The thesis qualitatively explores the immigration and racial discourses employed by Major League Baseball fans through a purposive sample of twenty-four non-Hispanic whites in Miami, Florida, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Major League Baseball, popularly regarded as “America’s national pastime,” provides a strategic site of inquiry as rosters have grown more international in the previous decades, mirroring demographic shifts in the United States. Results demonstrate that while white fans support migrant players on their team, their support often rests on the players’ ability to produce wins, approximating the principle of interest convergence within critical race theory. Despite their professed tolerance for international players, supportive fans simultaneously uttered various discriminatory stereotypes of immigrants, at times holding contradictory expectations between the immigrants and migrant players. These findings complicate the notion of tolerance towards immigrants or other marginalized racial groups and underscore the potential for sport to uncover and challenge colorblind racism, as well as more overtly racist ideologies held by whites.

Keywords

sociology; racism; immigration; discourse; sport; critical theory

Available for download on Sunday, July 26, 2020

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