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

Matthew Masucci

San Jose State University
Session: Sport, Media, & Technology
Bikes and beats: Engaging the San José Bike Party through mobile video ethnography

South of the San Francisco Bay on the third Friday of every month, thousands of residents take to the streets on their bicycles to join in on the novelty   of the San José Bike Party (SJBP). For the riders, the personal and political meanings attached to the SJBP, their bikes, and the spaces they traverse, are as varied and diverse as the backgrounds of participants themselves. And yet as riders come together, they form a singular complex organism that comprises the sensory and affective foundation of the SJBP. In an effort to reach beyond the limits of sedentary data collection and of spoken and written representations, we employ evolving and hybrid methodologies, including elements of mobile video ethnography, to articulate the rich and multi-layered experiences and meanings of the SJBP. Building on the work of Justin Spinney (2015) and others, in this presentation, we explore the limits and possibilities of using technology with mobile methods—collecting data while on the move, connecting with the pulse of the ride, moving with, to, and through the beat of the bikes. We thus share a creative work in progress with the aim of developing a sense-sensitive, empathetic, (post)phenomenological representation of the SJBP.

Session: Understanding the Stories of Bodies, Selves and Lives: The Use of Narrative in Research

A "Notorious" spectacle: Reading Conor McGregor through a narrative lens

Despite considerable sociological and physical cultural studies work examining the notion of sport as spectacle, relatively little of that research has focused on the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) in general, or on arguably the most high-profile athlete in the sport, former UFC champ Conor McGregor.  Nevertheless, scholars have examined how individual fighters like former UFC women’s champ, Ronda Rousey, was presented via popular media, as well as how she framed herself using social media (Barnett, 2017; Sailors & Weaving, 2017).  Drawing on work from both the study of sport as spectacle and media representations, the purpose of this paper was to examine the events that surrounded the lead-up to McGregor’s 2017 fight with undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather through the lens of narrative analysis (Carless & Douglas, 2013; Smith & Sparkes, 2012).  By analyzing popular media sources and McGregor’s Twitter during the multiple city “roadshow” meant to generate hype for the fight, we argue that the problematic and yet sometimes contradictory intersection of stories related to masculinity, racism, sexism, violence, and fatherhood worked to tell a particular story meant to sell the event to diverse audiences in a fractured and neoliberal sport fan landscape.