World Congress of the Sociology of Sport Conference abstract

This post is a copy/paste of an accepted abstract that will be presented at the 2013 International Sociology of Sport Association’s World Congress of the Sociology of Sport Congress in Vancouver, Canada (See: http://issa2013.org/).

ISSA2013 PROPOSAL

TITLE: Nationalism and the National Basketball Association finals: An analysis of announcer discourse

AUTHORS: Olan Kees Martin Scott & Dwight Zakus

ABSTRACT: One of the key themes of contemporary media is to entertain the audience;  a central “function of the media [is] for diversion and enjoyment, in which the media provide stories, features, music, and films to make audiences laugh, cry, relax, or reflect rather than gain information” (Wilson, Gutierrez, & Chao, 2003, p. 40). Through the framing of sport broadcasts, which become the individual scripted storylines, commercial media seek to generate a large viewership as possible in order to on-sell viewers to advertisers and sponsors. Entman (2007) suggests that framing is a “process of culling a few elements of a perceived reality and assembling a narrative that highlights connections among them to promote a particular interpretation” (p. 164). As such, this study seeks to uncover how the concept of nationalism was portrayed by commentators during the broadcasts of the 2011 National Basketball Association finals. Further, the scripting tactics will be uncovered that were employed by sportscasters to possibly enhance the salience of storylines to viewers through a post hoc reconstruction of scripts. While a wide body of literature exists on nationalism and sport, this research analyses a series of events not often studied, an NBA finals. A content analysis of announcer discourse will be conducted to uncover how American (N=22) and international (N=8) professional basketball players were portrayed by announcers. A reliable and validated 15 category taxonomy (Scott, Hill, & Zakus, in press) will be used to analyze and evaluate the frames that were used by announcers to depict NBA players.

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