Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationVirginia, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9451
Approve DateApril 25, 2017
Project TitleCanada, Tracie J., U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Tackling the Everyday: Race, Family, and Nation in Big-Time College Football,' supervised by Dr. George Mentore
Preliminary abstract: My proposed research explores the nexus of race, embodiment, and kinship in modern sport through 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork with Black college football players and their social networks. American football is a rational and standardized space that, ideally, serves as a vehicle in the transmission of cultural values, such as discipline and competition, and mirrors a modernist preoccupation with order. Because these ordered spaces often align with national norms and ideals, it is important to consider the experience of Black male athletes, as they disproportionately participate in the sport, especially at the collegiate level. Despite and in context of the fact that matrifocal Black families and Black male bodies are often pathologized, and seen as transgressive and threatening, Blackness inflects a certain social experience in the space of college football and in the overall moral terrain of the U.S. By exploring the lives and experiences of Black players and their families at predominantly White institutions in the southeastern U.S., I seek to understand their multidimensional lives from an ethnographic, person-centered perspective. My proposed research aims to contribute a new layer of understanding to anthropological studies of kinship and sport, and to address the tensions of race, racism, and nationalism as they relate not just to sport, but to America’s cultural landscape.