Blog planet : race, aesthetics and interpretation in new sports media




Friedman, Nathaniel J., 1978-

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This thesis is a self-reflective analysis of my own participation in the popular discourse of professional basketball. Using my own writings from the web log FreeDarko as both an object of study and a voice in the discussion, I engage works by John Hoberman, Nelson George, William Rhoden, Gerald Early and David Shields. Recognizing both the potential dangers of romanticizing sport and sport's role as an important source of meaning, I critique my previous writings while using them as a means for developing a new, less problematic framework for interpretation. Given basketball's prominent place in American culture, and its numerous socio-cultural overtones, it is important to sort out how much—and how little—we can responsibly endow it with greater significance. Ultimately, I conclude that understanding sport as a reflection of the world is the most responsible approach. If they are understood as illustrative, rather than authoritative, one can interpret them without distorting their role in society.


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