Sport media and the cultural circulation of race/ethnicity: Moving from content analyses to production studies

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The racial/ethnic diversity that can be seen in televised football, together with its wide audience, makes it an interesting place to study meanings given to race/ethnicity. Previous research on the content of these discourses has found that televised football in different countries reproduces a variety of racial/ethnic stereotypes. These discourses arguably help to perpetuate and ‘naturalize’ racial/ethnic inequities. In order to better illuminate how sport media serves as a site where discourses surrounding race/ethnicity are (re)constructed, a fruitful yet understated direction of future research would be to look at the production process of such discourses. Although the theoretical value of production studies has been noted in previous work, there is at this time a shortage of empirical production studies in sport media. The present article describes some of the main findings of previous research on the representation of race/ethnicity in televised football (a dominant subject of research in this area) and audience reception research. Furthermore, the article focuses on main findings from production studies in sport media, supplementing a focus on race/ethnicity with describing production studies on gender ‐ as most production studies have mainly focused on gender and provide relevant insights for the study of race/ethnicity. We conclude with some future research avenues highlighting the importance of exploring production processes in relation to meanings given to race/ethnicity in sport media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-24
Number of pages16
JournalNorthern lights: film & media studies Yearbook
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


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