The Sport Megatext: Sportin gEvents through the Digital Lens of Social Media, TRANSnationalism/culturalism, and Global Citizenship
Are major sporting events being reported through a media “MEGAtext," thus becoming a manic disorder catapulted by the Internet, hypertexts, social media, smart phones, and dumb social skills? Birrell and McDonald define “articulation in sport” as a barometer of our culture and who we are as social beings. At what cost are safety, respect, inclusion, social justice, and well-being compromised at the expense of sport legacies and winning at all costs? Within days, sometimes minutes, what was once a “private” game becomes a performed frenzy of embedded cultural biases and a global incident through ESPN, YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr, and other social media outlets. Are print and social media outlets culpable in the reinforcement of hetero, sexist, and hegemonic assumptions of gender and sexual identities in intercollegiate sport? Sport Megatexts such as violence, injury, bullying, intimidation, steroid use, and playing through pain will be examined. The course explores the arch of cultural complacency in intercollegiate, professional, and Olympic competition and at what costs to the athlete and society itself are accrued. What do sport MEGAtexts tell us about society, culture, our global citizenship, and sportsmanship? More critically, is the media driven by ratings, sensationalism, nationalism and emotion only until a bigger MEGAtext rears its ugly sporting head?