The popular racial order of urban America: Sport, identity, and the politics of culture

Michael D. Giardina, Cameron McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper critically interrogates the prevailing contemporary figurations of so-called "urban" popular culture as suggested within and against filmic narratives of sport and the racial logics of late-capitalism. Attempting to forge a contextual understanding of the conflicting representations of (urban) subjectivity, the authors locate "urban" America within broader conjunctural developments that have given rise to its mainstream appellation. They then focus on how urban popular culture is currently represented within broader pop culture formations, especially Hollywood cinema, before concluding with a close read of the Spike Lee film He Got Game, which, they argue, is both an example and a symptom of popular racial representation that is compatible with the politics of a conservative (Black) middle class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-173
Number of pages29
JournalCultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005



  • Bill Clinton
  • Cinema
  • Neoliberalism
  • Race
  • Spike Lee
  • Sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies

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