class oppression matrix:  the sports industries

Overview:  The oppression (power) matrix (reading #1) outlines the workings of power on three interconnected levels:  CULTURAL (norms, values, beliefs, lived practices), INSTITUTIONAL, INDIVIDUAL.  Over the next few classes, we’ll apply this framework to the entertainment industries.  We begin with “sports” for its powerful influence and its more recent position as an arena of heightened political contestation, a site of democratic struggles.      

Reading questionswritten response required

 What are some key issues raised in the readings?  

  • Discuss at least three issues.  You might include (in quotes ) a particularly meaningful sentence or other data information.  What are the different institutions?  What cultural forces are at play? How do the different levels of power  — cultural, institutional — interact, interconnect, intersect? e.g. aggressive masculinity as a CULTURAL norm and performative practice upon which the profits of the (INSTITUTIONAL) sports industries are based. 
  • In what ways are these issues connected?  What are common themes and patterns?


  1.   Adams, M., Bell, L. A. & Griffin, P. (1997). Oppression Matrix. 1-page excerpt. Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. Routledge: New York & London.
  2. Overman, S. (2019).  Excerpts Ch. 5 Sports Culture Rules in the American High School.  In Sports Crazy: How Sports are Sabotaging Ameican Schools. University Press of Mississippi:  Jackson. Pp. 89-97, 106-109. 
  3. Derek Thompson.  American Meritocracy is Killing Youth Sports.  The Atlantic. November 6, 2018. 
  4. Jemele Hill.  It’s Time for Black Athletes to Leave White Colleges.  The Atlantic. October 2019. 
  5. Benjamin Hoffman, Ken Belson.  Andrew Luck of the Colts Retires From the N.F.L. After Spate of Injuries.  New York Times, August 24, 2019.
  6. Michael Serazio.  Why Andrew Luck’s Retirement Was So Shocking.  New York Times, August 27, 2019.
  7. Jill Gutowitz.  Megan Rapinoe Is a New Kind of American Sports Icon.  Elle Online. July 9, 2019. 
  8. Isabella Redjai.  Women’s World Cup star Megan Rapinoe is a bad sport.  Washington Examiner. July 11, 2019.
  9.   Howard Bryant On His New Book “The Heritage” And The Legacy Of Activism For Black Athletes.  WGBH News. June 4, 2018. 

Written assignments: single-spaced in Times New Roman or Arial (size 12 font), 1-inch margins all around. PROOFREAD. First page includes single-spaced name, assignment title and date. Turn in assignments as a paper document.