By Bai Linh Hoang (Doctoral Student, American Politics)
Mar 01, 2013
Sportista is the cumulative result of a long process of research Professor Markovits has been conducting since 1995. Professor Markovits has always worked on and maintained an interest in issues related to gender and sports. In 1995, he administered an impromptu survey to a group of German students in which the gendered nature of sports was the key element. Later on, he conducted a similar but more large-scale survey on all University of Michigan varsity athletes and a sizeable number of LSA undergraduate students. The results and analyses of the findings were published in the Michigan Journal of Political Science. While teaching various courses from 2002 to 2004, Professor Markovits noticed that men and women follow sports differently. His Sports, Society and Culture class gave him the opportunity to examine further the relationship between gender and sports. Also, enrolled in one of the professor’s courses was Emily Albertson, a sociology student who would become the co-author of the book. In addition to the surveys and classes, Professor Markovits and Ms. Albertson conducted in-depth interviews with 33 female sportscasters and an equal number of self-identified sportistas, some whom were previous students in Professor Markovits’ classes. Thus, the experiences and findings from the surveys, interviews, and classes provide significant material for Sportista. Professor Markovits describes the book as being the “best example that teaching and research are not separate from one another.” The book best exemplifies the complementary elements of research and teaching.
Click here for a lively overview of the issues and prejudices faced by women who are serious sports enthusiasts.