Cultural performance and sport mascots

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Various arguments against Native American mascots have used assumptions based on similar critiques such as those connected to discourse about colonialism, racism and white hegemony (e.g., Hewitt, 1991; Schultz, 1991; Monaghan, 1992). While these criticisms are very justified, in this essay, the cultural roots, symbolism and performance of sport mascots will be considered as they have been articulated to the symbolic production of cultural narratives such as “good luck”; “authenticity”; and “nostalgia.” First, classicist David Sansone's (1988) ideas concerning the origin of sport will be discussed as they may be connected to present-day sport mascot rituals. The essay then uses the symbolic anthropological construct of “cultural performance” to explore the ideologies of sport mascots in today's culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sport & Social Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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