Gender, Whiteness, and Power in Rodeo: Breaking Away from the Ties of Sexism and Racism

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Lexington Books, 2012 - History - 228 pages
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The lure of cowgirls and cowboys has hooked the American imagination with the lure of freedom and adventure since the turn of the twentieth century. The cowboy and cowgirl played in the imagination and made rodeo into a symbolic representation of the Western United States. As a sport that is emblematic of all things Western, rodeo is a phenomenon that has since transcended into popular culture. Rodeo s attraction has even spanned oceans and lives in the imaginations of many around the world. From the modest start of this fantastic sport in open fields to celebrate the end of a long cattle drive or to settle a friendly who s the best bet between neighboring ranches, rodeo truly has grown into an edge-of-the-seat, money-drawing, and crowd-cheering favorite pastime. However, rodeo has diverse history that largely remains unaccounted for, unexamined, and silenced. In Gender, Whiteness and Power in Rodeo Tracey Owens Patton and Sally M. Schedlock visually explore how race, gender, and other issues of identity complicate the mythic historical narrative of the West. The authors examine the experiences of ethnic minorities, specifically Latinos, American Indians, and African Americans, and women who have continued to be marginalized in rodeo. Throughout the book, Patton and Schedlock questioned the binary divisions in rodeo that exists between women and men, and between ethnic minorities and Whites divisions that have become naturalized in rodeo and in the mind of the general public. Using iconic visual images, along with the voices of the marginalized, Patton and Schedlock enter into the sometimes acrimonious debate of cowgirls and ethnic minorities in rodeo."

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The Foundation of Rodeo and the Myth of the West
The Golden Age of Cowgirls in the Arena
The New Dichotomized Role for Cowgirls
A New Era of the Silver Screen with Cheesecake and Pinup Cowgirls
Sex Status and Salaciousness
The Return to Equality in the Arena
Ethnic Minority Involvement in Rodeo
Cowgirl Up Were More than Barbie and Big Hair
Rodeo Definitions

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About the author (2012)

Tracey Owens Patton is director of African American and diaspora studies as well as professor of communication in the Department of Communication and Journalism at The University of Wyoming.

Sally M. Schedlock received her BA and MA degrees in communication from the University of Wyoming. She has rodeoed since she was a small child and continues to barrel race.

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