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Jenny Withycombe Recognizing Oppression


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  • Introduction of academic then athletic experience.Plus, why you got into combining sport with gender, race, sexuality, and culture. Sport is a reflection of society in a lot of ways and I truly believe that relationship can be a two-way street. Sport is empowering. Sport can be used to shape society. Sport can be an avenue for social change.
  • The successes of minority student-athletes, coaches, and administrators (whether by gender, race, sexual orientation, and/or culture) are numerous yet their voices are diminished by a lack of understanding of issues unique to them. This leaves a hole in the understanding of sporting experiences within US colleges and Universities.As a practitioner who views exposure to diversity as well as athletic participation as primary sources of an individual’s empowerment, I am particularly interested in teaching about the ways in which issues of diversity within athletics, both globally and nationally, have shaped the identities of collegiate institutions throughout history and continue to do so today. Sport professionals are charged with the substantial, yes essential, task of combating the often combined oppressions faced by a diverse population of administrators, coaches, and student-athletes.
  • Example – no one says certain races cannot participate in sports, there are no rules barring them from participation. Yet, continue to participate at rates lower than expected when compared to their admission numbers, why?
  • Forget about being PG, tell me what we call men and women in order to control them and their behaviors.Stereotypes are VERY powerful. No one took you aside and told you what it meant to be a man or a woman. You learn based on your society, culture, and individual experiences. The thing to remember is that whether you buy into certain stereotypes or not, they are always there. They have power even when we don’t believe in them.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Recognizing Oppression
      A Workshop on Cultural Diversity within Intercollegiate Athletics
      Dr. Jenny Lind Withycombe
      Withycombe Consulting
    • 2. Dr. Jenny Lind Withycombe
      BA – Psychology
      MA – Teaching
      G. Crt – Women’s Studies
      PhD – Sport and Exercise Sciences
      Foci: Cultural Studies, Africana Studies
      Diversity Consultant
      NCAA and Constituents
      4 Year Varsity Rower
      3x All-American (First Team)
      4 Year National-Scholar Athlete
      First Rower to be named Female Athlete of the Year
      WU Record Holder
      Team Captain
    • 3. Diversity in US Intercollegiate Sport
      Minority student-athletes, coaches, and administrators
      Gender, Race, Sexual Orientation, and/or Culture
      Understanding Sport Experiences
      Diversity and Athletic Participation Lead to Empowerment
      Diversity Shaping Identities and Experiences
      My task
    • 4. Diversity Education and Sport for Development
      Sport for Development and Peace
      Perspectives of US Intercollegiate Student-Athletes
      Encouraging the Use of Sport for Social Change
      Recognizing the Oppression
      Defining Your Role
      Facilitating Change
    • 5. Learning Objectives for Diversity Education
      Understand the dynamics of privilege and how it is manifested in society and within intercollegiate athletics.
      Understand the impact that stereotypes, discrimination, and oppression have on the daily lives and performance of all student-athletes and athletic staff.
      Recognizing who is the center of power within both the macro- and micro-communities of intercollegiate athletics.
      Develop a willingness to interrupt instances of discrimination that occur within intercollegiate athletics.
      Encourage behaviors that demonstrate acceptance and respect for all people.
    • 6. Defining Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion
      Culture is…
      Way of life in a given society passed down from one generation to the next through learning and experience.
      Diversity is…
      Collection of similarities and differences we carry with us at all times, based on the characteristics we were born with, the experiences we have had, and the choices we have made.
      Inclusion is…
      Inclusion can be defined as the process of ensuring that people feel included and valued in an organization or a community.
      Quantitative versus Qualitative Equality
    • 7. Value
      If you work hard you will be successful.
      Meritocracy: The idea that despite “unequally distributed opportunities and impediments…good choices, effort, and ambition alone are responsible for success” (Harris, 2004, p. 16).
      Gender, racial, sexual orientation, and class oppression is a significant problem for student-athletes, coaches, and administrators.
      “Sport is a contradictory space…the resilience of the notion that sport takes place on a level playing field, outside the relations of inequality and oppression, is necessary in [prejudicially] inscribed societies that deem themselves not [prejudiced]. However, the persistence of [prejudice] is inextricably tied to claims of the absence of [prejudice].” (Douglas, 2003, p. 9)
      It is easy to spot oppression.
      Overt and Covert Oppression
    • 8. Making Connections
      Why do you think these three statements were grouped together?
      If you work hard you will be successful.
      Gender, racial, sexual orientation, and class oppression is a significant problem for student-athletes, coaches, and administrators.
      It is easy to spot oppression.
    • 9. Current Issues: Race and Culture
      Increasing numbers of student-athletes of color
      More international student-athletes than ever before
      Underrepresentation of student-athletes, coaches, and administrators of color in positions of power both on and off the field
      Recruiting and Retention
      Stereotyping and oppression
      Ambiguous institutional climate with regards to diversity and inclusion
      Varied levels of commitment to creating a more inclusive environment
      Lack of understanding and appreciation for individual backgrounds and cultures (e.g. communication styles, hiring practices, hierarchies, retention, time orientation, religion, gender, etc.)
    • 10. Current Issues: Gender and Sexuality
      Increasing numbers of female student-athletes
      Sexist/Homophobic language and behaviors
      Romantic peer and/or coach-athlete involvements
      Same-sex, cross-sex
      Title IX
      Gender specific coaching
      Variability in standards
      Intersex Issues
      Underrepresentation of female student-athletes, coaches, and administrators in positions of power both on and off the field
    • 11. Stereotyping
    • 12. Gender, Sexuality, and Power
      Stereotypically Male Characteristics
      Stereotypically Female Characteristics
      To Control Men…
      To Control Women…
    • 13. Stereotypes: A Social Creation
      We must accept that…
      Stereotypes are socially constructed and implemented
      Stereotypes can create both conscious and unconscious biases
      Stereotypes have power whether we personally accept them or not
      Stereotypes can keep us from having new experiences
    • 14. Others Types of Stereotypes
      Stereotyping in its many forms:
      What is our responsibility with regards to stereotyping?
    • 15. Institutional/Organizational Culture
      What is the culture of your institution/organization?
      What is it like to be a member of the majority within your institution/organization?
      What is it like to be a member within your institution/organization whose culture lies in part outside the “mainstream”?
      What is the institutional/organizational culture of your various departments? How does that compare to the larger organization? Or the community in which you reside?
    • 16. Privilege
    • 17. White Privilege
      List some forms of White privilege
      White Privilege: Advantages, opportunities, or benefits bestowed upon a person due to their racial classification as White
      Try to think of at least one form of White privilege related to sport
    • 18. McIntosh’s White Privilege
      I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
      When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
      I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
      I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
    • 19. “White privilege is like an invisible knapsack of special provisions, assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks, passports, visas, clothes, compasses, emergency gear, and blank checks”
      (McIntosh, 1988, p. 1).
    • 20. Others Types of Privilege
      Privilege in its many forms:
      Sexual Orientation
      What is our responsibility with regards to privilege?
    • 21. Sport for Social Change
      Oppression is deeply embedded within US culture
      Oppression and issues of diversity are often denied, minimized, and justified within US sport
      Younger generations need help connecting the US’s history of racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism to today’s socio-cultural issues
      Current athletic personnel want to make a difference using sport, but they need strong leadership and guidance
    • 22. It is the collective power of individuals that makes change happen
    • 23. Thank You