soc paper - 1 Josh Mittleman & Ricky Harris 5-12-08...

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5-12-08 Sociology of Sport Sports photography is a very interesting subject to study. Many photographs are taken of athletes of different genders and races everyday. If these photographs are studied, one can learn a lot about society from them. Both gender and race play into what angle the picture is shot at, what the subjects are wearing, and what the subjects are specifically doing at that moment. All these factors are taken into consideration before a picture is chosen to go into a magazine. People usually don’t even notice that these factors are all used for consideration of the pictures into the magazine I used, Tennis Magazine, and the Adidas poster I used because they aren’t normally going to be looking for racial or gender biases in everything they see. Sociologists are always the first people to notice these things. Gender plays a role in how the photograph is taken. Females are usually photographed with a downward angle so that they look smaller and more “woman-like.” Males, on the other hand, are usually photographed with an upward camera angle so that they look bigger. This is shown in picture number one. This is a picture of James Blake, a tennis star. This picture shows him, with a very slight upward angle, playing a game of tennis. He has a relaxed look on his face, hinting that he is playing effortlessly. Because he is very good, it can also be assumed that he is winning. This means that this picture can be inferred as Blake winning a game of tennis, while playing effortlessly, thus making him seem even better of an athlete. To me, a good picture of a professional tennis player is a picture that shows the player hitting the ball fiercely, with almost a painful look on their face like they’re 1
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putting all of their strength into that one shot. I feel that this kind of picture would make the athlete look better because it shows they are putting 110% into their play that game, as well as not having any gender bias. A picture like this would not show gender bias because both the male and female athletes would be in the same situation and motions so that there is no difference in what the male or female is doing. Picture number two is a picture of Serena Williams. This is a perfect picture, in my opinion, to identify gender in a photograph. The camera has no upward or downward angle but instead emphasizes the fact that she is a female. The picture was taken at just a moment where her chest and butt are greatly flaunted. No picture of a man in that exact position would be put into a magazine, especially a tennis magazine where both picture number one and picture number two were taken from. Her eyes also tell something about her. She has a very focused look on her face. This could be construed to mean that she, in representing all female tennis players, needs to try extra hard to achieve success, as where a male can achieve success with ease. Pictures number three and four are paired together because they are both of white
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soc paper - 1 Josh Mittleman & Ricky Harris 5-12-08...

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