Picturing success: photographs and stereotyping in men's collegiate basketball

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Johnson, D. L, Hallinan, Christopher J and Westerfield, R. C (1999) Picturing success: photographs and stereotyping in men's collegiate basketball. Journal of Sports Behavior, 22 (1). pp. 45-53. ISSN 0162-7341


This study investigated the use of photos to ascertain the level of belief that certain attributes contribute to success in men's collegiate basketball. Four population groups were represented. Subjects were asked to rate their level of belief that eight specific factors contributed to the success of pictured male athletes. Significant differences were found for the four population groups utilized. Subjects perceived success for a Black athlete to be the result of innate athletic abilities: natural quickness and speed, natural jumping ability, longer limbs, and extra muscle tissue. Success for a White athlete was viewed as resulting from hard work, leadership ability, access to better coaching, and access to better equipment and facilities. Scores for an Hispanic athlete reflected a lack of athletic identity or stereotype. The composite athlete's success was seen as resulting from a combination of the factors attributed to the Black athlete and the White athlete. The results support the "stereotyping theory" of positional stacking reported in collegiate and professional sports. Implications for participation patterns of young athletes are also discussed.

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1192
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise & Sport Science (CARES)
Keywords basketball, male athletes, stereotype, race
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