Sunday, October 20, 2013

An Open Heart and An Open Mind: New Positions

In the beginning I focused my subculture with the athletes of Rhode Island College instead of focusing on the people in the Athletic Department.

Fixed Positions:

Now that I have focused on the people in the Athletic Department I do have biases. My age is something that is very different from the people who run the Athletic Department. I am much younger than them and I am the one that is able to play sports while I am at college right now. While some of them have played college sports, their eligibility years are over and that makes them unable to play at sport at a college now. My gender is something that I cannot change but it something that has made me see the world differently. I never had to go through hardships in life, fighting for the right to play sports as a woman, but at one time women were not allowed to play sports. Even today women playing sports is not ideal to men, but this makes me look at sports differently. In high school the Athletic Director clearly showed favorites in high school and I have brought that experience to RIC with me. I believe that the male directors here think that women’s sports are a waste and that they are a joke. When I study these people in their jobs I have this bias opinion that the Athletic Director hates women’s sports and it’s an idea that I have to release. While living in Coventry, I have been brought up without going through tough hardships. I was given the opportunity to play on many different teams and there I never really had to fight hard to make a team. As a player I never thought of how much work was put into these leagues and I always thought that their jobs were a joke, thinking that they didn’t really have to do much. I came to RIC with the same silly notion, not thinking deeper into things until I decided to choose RIC athletics. Since then I have decided to think a little deeper than just assuming their jobs were as easy as mine. While participating in sports I have been able to breeze by just by playing and I always assumed that the directors were just coaches on the teams and most were, but now that I am at RIC I can’t assume that all the directors were coaches, each person has a different story. The fact that I am white changes everything as well. White people have always been handed everything throughout the years and that provides a different experience for me. I have never actually had to really fight to be able to do something and that makes me bias. I have been able to walk through life so easily that its something I am bringing to RIC athletics with me. Not all of the directors are white though, so they have had different experiences, something I have never seen before. 

Subjective Positions:

By playing baseball at the age of six I was lucky enough to be able to play a sport and I never realized that not everyone has the same opportunity as I did. As the years went by I played for my high school and once again I never realized how lucky I was to start on my varsity tennis team my first year. My years of sports in high school shape the way I see the athletic department here. For one I believe that men’s teams are more highly regarded than women’s teams and I would love to learn more about this topic. The athletic department seemed like it was composed of two men who barely cared enough to show up to any of the sports and I came to RIC thinking once again no one cares about tennis. However since the start of this project this bias is slowly dwindling away. Many of the people I plan to interview from the athletic department take the time to go to the games to watch their players. Because of this experience so far at RIC, I have already begun to see that the biases I have brought from high school may not be true at this college.

Textual Positions:

The textual positions are much different now than they were before. As a student athlete I could relate to the other athletes but I have never been part of the athletic department. This is something new to me. Because I have never been a part of the department I don’t feel like a part and its something I have to adapt to. As I delve into my project I want to feel like one of them so that I am included in my work. In this way I will be written into my work and the subculture I am studied will be regarded in a well-respected manner. 

1 comment:

  1. I really love how well you explore all of your biases in the first part of this post. Gender really does make a difference in the world of sports because you are right, unfortunately there are people that look down on women's sports and see them as less important. It kind of reminds me of the fact that many of the major sports that we see televised, like football and baseball, are all male. Even though there are women's leagues in these sports, they never get nearly as much attention. It's almost like they are just there so that people can say that yes, women play these sports too. I really hope that you are able to explore this world of athletics throughout your project, because I can tell that it is something very close to your heart because sports were something you seem to have been brought up on. Good luck with the project, especially with working around some of the preconceptions about athletics that you definitely have.