Jenny Withycombe  Recognizing Oppression
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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.

Jenny Withycombe  Recognizing Oppression Jenny Withycombe Recognizing Oppression Presentation Transcript

  • Recognizing Oppression
    A Workshop on Cultural Diversity within Intercollegiate Athletics
    Dr. Jenny Lind Withycombe
    Withycombe Consulting
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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
    Pregnancy
    Underrepresentation of female student-athletes, coaches, and administrators in positions of power both on and off the field
  • Stereotyping
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Power
    Stereotypically Male Characteristics
    Stereotypically Female Characteristics
    To Control Men…
    To Control Women…
  • 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
  • Others Types of Stereotypes
    Stereotyping in its many forms:
    Race
    Class
    Religion
    What is our responsibility with regards to stereotyping?
  • 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?
  • Privilege
  • 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
  • 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.
  • “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).
  • Others Types of Privilege
    Privilege in its many forms:
    Gender
    Sexual Orientation
    Class
    What is our responsibility with regards to privilege?
  • Sport for Social Change
    Reflections
    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
  • It is the collective power of individuals that makes change happen
  • Thank You
    Questions?