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

Caitlin Clarke

University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
Session: Sport, Society, and Technology

Exercise Science Depression Studies: An Alternative Framework

This paper is an excerpt from my dissertation, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to exercise science research on depression. I analyzed 13 meta-analyses and systematic reviews focused on exercise interventions for depression and published between 2013-2017. Based on my findings, I challenge exercise science’s framing of depression as a societal burden, exercise as prescription drug, and the use of prescreening tools as technologies for identifying and rating depressive symptoms. Scholars of the history of sport in the United States have long noted the effects of the protestant and Calvinist movements, which fostered a view of play as frivolous, a waste of time, and even sin and immorality. Lingering aspects of this include perceptions of sport and as work; a tool for improving physical health; compulsory but not necessarily enjoyable. I believe this framework is detrimental. Recent research in child development suggests a relationship between the decline in free play and increase in anxiety and depression. Building on this research, I advocate for a return to play, play studies, and play scholarship within sport sociology, kinesiology, and exercise science more broadly that better incorporates empathetic frameworks for people with mental illness found in disability studies.

Session: The Olympic Movement: Examining Race, Gender, & Politics in the Winter Games
Olympic Music and Racialized Institutions: Olympic Ice Dancing in PyeongChang

This paper aims to provide a historical-theoretical understanding of the case of Olympic ice dancing in relation to music selection for competitive programs, focusing on the process of racialization. We do this with a specific case of a South Korean ice dancing pair, Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin, particularly with their music selection for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. The skating pair used Arirang, a title of a Korean traditional folk song representing the history of Korea, specifically under the era of Japanese colonialism. Through the history of figure skating, European classical music has been predominantly chosen and used by most skaters for creating their choreography regardless of the size, level, and location of the competition. Thus, it is claimed that the song Arirang is considered an untraditional and unconventional music selection. In this paper, we will address: (1) how international sport institutions (i.e., the International Skating Union and the International Olympic Committee) racialize people of color; (2) how these institutions reinforce racial ideology through the Olympics; and (3) how study of the specific Arirang music reflects our arguments concerning the aforementioned. Such critique will be interpreted within the web of concepts such as postcolonialism, modernity, and enlightenment.