This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Jim Thorpe, Indian or Athlete? Sport Performance and Mediated Accounts of Racial Identity.




Hatcher, Elizabeth

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




This study allows us to understand how the media coverage of Native American athletes shapes and naturalizes racial stereotypes. Sport is a site where racial formations are constantly and publicly negotiated. Therefore, it is essential to explore how and why stereotypical representations have been used to shape the understanding of Native Americans. The misrepresentation of Native Americans in sport reinforces racial stereotypes and shapes the way non-Native Americans understand them. The media are prevalent, and understanding how they communicate stereotypes about minorities helps critics better understand how the media influence and reinforce dominant racial stereotypes.