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Coming to Terms: 'Race', Ethnicity, Identity and Aboriginality in Sport

Tatz, Colin

Description

Notions of genetic superiority have led to some of the world's greatest human calamities. Just as social scientists thought that racial anthropology and biology had ended with the cataclysm of the Second World War, so some influential researchers and sports commentators have rekindled the pre-war debate about the muscular merits of 'races' in a new discipline that Nyborg (1994) calls the 'science of physicology'. The more recent realm of racial 'athletic genes', especially within socially...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorTatz, Colin
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T22:30:58Z
dc.identifier.issn0729-4352
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/55321
dc.description.abstractNotions of genetic superiority have led to some of the world's greatest human calamities. Just as social scientists thought that racial anthropology and biology had ended with the cataclysm of the Second World War, so some influential researchers and sports commentators have rekindled the pre-war debate about the muscular merits of 'races' in a new discipline that Nyborg (1994) calls the 'science of physicology'. The more recent realm of racial 'athletic genes', especially within socially constructed black athletic communities, may intend no malice but this search for the keys to their success may well revive the old, discredited discourses. This critical commentary shows what can happen when some population geneticists and sports writers ignore history and when medical, biological and sporting doctrines deriving from 'race' are dislocated from any historical, geographic, cultural and social contexts. Understanding discourses about race, racism, ethnicity, otherness, identity and Aboriginality are essential if sense, or nonsense, is to be made of genetic/racial 'explanations' of sporting excellence. Between the two major wars boxing was, disproportionately, a Jewish sport; Kenyans and Ethiopians now 'own' middle- and long-distance running and Jamaicans the shorter events; South Koreans dominate women's professional golf. This essay explores the various explanations put forward for such 'statistical domination': genes, biochemistry, biomechanics, history, culture, social dynamics, the search for identity, alienation, need, chance, circumstances, and personal bent or aptitude.
dc.publisherAustralian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
dc.sourceAustralian Aboriginal Studies
dc.titleComing to Terms: 'Race', Ethnicity, Identity and Aboriginality in Sport
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume2009
dc.date.issued2009
local.identifier.absfor160501 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4133361xPUB325
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationTatz, Colin, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue2
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage15
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage31
dc.date.updated2015-12-09T10:06:42Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-77950167103
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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