Random thoughts after Week 1 in Rio

We are one week into the Rio Olympics and I have some thoughts– well, a lot of thoughts, but here are some serious (and not so serious) personal highlights. I’ll focus on the big three that sociologists like to think about: gender, class, and race. I’d like to thank various journalists for giving me a […]

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Ready for Rio: Gold Medal Families

Today the Olympics officially begin! My whole family is very excited (Carston and I are especially psyched for gymnastics, and John for Track & Field, though Q is undecided…). In honor of the Opening Ceremonies tonight I’m writing about Lifetime’s docuseries Gold Medal Families. The 8-part 1-hour each episodes followed 6 Olympic hopefuls (artistic gymnastics, […]

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Fantastic Lies and TRex: Documentaries and Sports in American Society

Wow, I haven’t blogged in three months. Why? Most of my time has been taken up by the course I am teaching this semester, a large lecture class at Brown called Sports in American Society. Standing room only crowd today in my inaugural Sports in American Society lecture. <insert sporting exhortation here> #americanstudies #sportsinamericansociety #professorlife […]

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Pint-Sized Phenoms: Golden Teenaged Dreams

Some people just really luck out in the name department. Sixteen-year-old Arielle Gold recently won a bronze in snowboarding at the X Games. Seventeen-year-old Gracie Gold came in sixth at the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships. But both will be aiming for gold at the 2014 Sochi Olymics. They won’t be the only teenage stars […]

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Shrinking and Pinking: Shifting Sports

New shifts in sport have been all over the news lately. Danica Patrick is the first woman to shift into the pole position (the top qualifier) at the Daytona 500. And while the International Olympic Committee’s unexpected and shocking decision to drop wrestling from the summer Games impacts more men than women, it’s telling that […]

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Pint-Sized Teen Athlete Phenoms

When I was 16 I was thinking about college, driving, and my AP exams. The 16- and 17-year-olds I describe below seem similar– but they are also thinking about medals, championships, and endorsement deals. Tennis is used to having young phenoms, though there has been a bit of a decline in recent years.  But an […]

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Shrinking and Pinking: Athletics in a Post-Post Title IX World

The XX(X) Olympics were an enormous success for women– especially the Americans.  If the US women had been their own country they would have placed fifth in the medal count standings.  Even more noteworthy is that 60% of the all the US’ medals came from women and 2/3rds of the American gold medal haul were […]

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A Post-Olympics Reading List (for enthusiastic fans who can’t wait for Sochi 2014)

If you’re anything like me, you and your family are facing a post-Olympics letdown. I have the perfect solution. No, not starting to play any Olympic sports. As I wrote last week, I’m more of a reader than a athlete.  I recommend you and your kids crack open the bindings of some of these recent […]

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Pint-Sized Phenoms: The Non-Olympic Edition (Music, Art, and Business)

In the past week the Olympics have brought us pint-sized phenoms like Gabby Douglas (and her hair), Missy Franklin, and Katie Ledecky.  But even in the midst of the Olympic Games it’s important to remember that pint-sized achievers come in a variety of forms. Sure, a lot of them are athletes.  Some excel in Olympic […]

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I’m an All-Around Gymnastics Fan: My events include reading, watching, commenting, and writing

I’m a big women’s gymnastics fan. Knowing I love dance, sports, and nearly all things feminine and strong, this should come as no surprise.  If you know me it’s also no surprise that while I took gymnastics as a kid I didn’t last long.  I was flexible, but I was also fearful (I would think […]

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