Explores the cultural meanings of the swimsuit issue and shows how
Sports Illustrated secures a large audience of men by creating a
climate of hegemonic masculinity.
"The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is the cultural keystone
of what is worst about male-dominated sport media. This book is the
most systematic treatment of the SI swimsuit issue to date, and it
reveals some of the ways that sexism, racism, heterosexism, and
Western ethnocentrism have been woven into the cultural fabric of
menis sports. But it is more than an analysis of SI. Davis unfurls
cutting-edge critical analysis of media through this ostensible
exercise in the study of a sport magazine issue. The book is a fine
example of the explanatory power of feminist analysis that takes
other multiple systems of domination into account; i.e., race,
ethnicity, nationalism, and sexual orientation". -- Don Sabo,
coauthor of Sex, Violence, and Power in Sports: Rethinking
This cultural study of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue
shows how it encourages individual and institutional practices that
create and maintain inequality. Laurel Davis illustrates how the
interactions of media production, media texts, media consumption,
and social context influence meaning, and how individual's
reactions and interpretations are influenced by their views about
gender and sexuality, views that have been shaped by their personal
social experiences. Based on extensive interviews with Sports
Illustrated consumers, producers, editors, and models, as well as
the author's analysis of every swimsuit issue from the first in
1964 to those of the 1990s, it argues that Sports Illustrated uses
the swimsuit issue to secure a large maleaudience by creating a
climate of dominant masculinity that tramples women, gays and
lesbians, people of color, and people from the postcolonialized
world on the way to the bank.
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