Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The I in TeamSports Fandom and the Reproduction of Identity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Erin C. Tarver

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226469935

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226470276.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Putting the “We” in “We’re Number One”: Mascots, Team, and Community Identity

Putting the “We” in “We’re Number One”: Mascots, Team, and Community Identity

Chapter:
(p.56) 3 Putting the “We” in “We’re Number One”: Mascots, Team, and Community Identity
Source:
The I in Team
Author(s):

Erin C. Tarver

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226470276.003.0004

Partisan sports fans use their fandom to cultivate and reproduce their own identities as members of a larger, socially significant community—as an “I” who is part of a specific “we.” Yet, the “we” of sports fandom does not precede the practices of fandom. This chapter investigates the production of this “we” through one of the more prominent symbolic practices of sports fandom: the institution of mascots. Drawing on John Searle’s account of institutional facts, this chapter claims that mascots are better understood as contributing to the constitution of teams and the communities they represent than merely symbolizing them. By closely analyzing the Native American mascot controversy and the symbolic function of mascots more generally, this chapter shows that the usage of Native Americans as mascots by non-Native communities depends upon the concomitant instrumentalization and exclusion of non-Native persons by the “we” of the sports fan community. This theoretical conceptualization of mascots is important both because it shows the role of symbolic fan practices in social ontology, and because it offers a salient example of how white communities are produced via sports fan practices that explicitly racialize and subordinate nonwhite groups.

Keywords:   Mascots, Native American, sports teams, John Searle, history of mascots, Stephen Mumford, social facts, institutional facts, numerical identity, persistence

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.