Representations of race/ethnicity and the nation: A content analysis of televised Polish international football

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This study explores the meanings given to race/ethnicity by Polish commentators covering games of the Polish national football team on TV. There will be an explicit focus on how such patterns of representation might intersect with those given to national identities in the context of international football. Our analysis reveals that commentators habitually reproduce the racialized stereotype of the ‘natural Black athlete’, particularly in the representation of Black African football players. White players remain more ‘invisible’ in the commentary, yet also here the intersection with national or wider regional backgrounds inflects the patterns of representation. For instance, White Portuguese and White Bosnian players are represented in a fashion that suggests they are placed outside of hegemonic Polish understandings of White (sporting) masculinity. This reveals the contingency and complexity of discourses of Whiteness in the Polish context. The findings reveal that the normativity of European Whiteness is also reflected in the meanings given to Polishness by the commentators, which are imbued with notions of psychological (masculine) Whiteness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number1
Early online date11 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (grant number 016.VIDI.185.174).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

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