2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Erica Tibbetts

Smith College
Session: Using Music to Inspire Sport Performance #1

Music as a form of Athlete Identity Expression: A Pilot Study
Music is a well-known and utilized athletic performance aid, most notably, music is used for arousal control (pump-up or calm-down), mood-regulation, concentration or dissociation, movement coordination, mood-regulation, or motivation (Karageorghis & Pierce, 2008; Sorenson et al., 2008). Music, however, may serve another purpose for athletes, identity expression. In particular, walk-up songs in baseball/softball or goal songs in hockey/lacrosse, allow an individual athlete to choose a piece of music to play that conveys something about them, relates to their personality, or otherwise indicates an individual preference. Few other elements in sport exist to allow for this freedom or expression.  However, little research has examined how these choices and forms of expression influence or reflect an athletes’ sense of identity. Athletes who feel they can express their whole identity are likely to perform better, thus, musical choice has the potential to further affect performance in this way. 

This presentation will explore how music may influence or be used to express individual identity in sport. How different identities, such as gender, race, or religion may influence music choices will also be touched on. Finally, preliminary data with collegiate softball and baseball players will be shared on how music choices relate to identity.

Session: Teaching the Sociology of Sport: Ideas, Issues and Innovations
Towards Feminist Pedagogy  in Sport Sociology

In “Teaching to Transgress,” hooks (1994) writes that “The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created.” As educators in sport sociology, committed to understanding, studying, and teaching about inequity, we should also be attentive to power dynamics in our classrooms. We must be dedicated to creating a classroom space that is empowering, equitable, and engaging; a sort of “paradise,” inside institutions where anxiety levels are rising, and competition between students is implicitly, if not explicitly encouraged. 

This presentation will incorporate the work of scholars like hooks, Noddings (whose work on the ethics of care remains relevant for our classrooms), and Rose (whose work challenges assumptions about how knowledge is created) to describe feminist techniques for creating community and caring relationships in sport sociology classes and environments which allows students t to fully grapple with content and employ it outside of the classroom. Practical techniques for building community, facilitating potentially tense conversations, and bringing excitement and enjoyment to class sessions will be provided. Relating to the topic of music, some of these techniques revolve around the incorporation of pop culture, digital/social media, and student created content, all of which lean heavily on music.