Give and Go: Basketball as a Cultural Practice

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SUNY Press - Social Science - 258 pages
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From the city courts of Harlem to the church halls of Indiana, pickup basketball culture is intensely local and reflects the histories and identities of its players. In Give and Go, Thomas Mc Laughlin examines how players put into play a loose set of values and ethical styles that influence how they think, feel, move, and relate to others within the community. A lifelong pickup ball player—one of modest skills but serious intent—Mc Laughlin has internalized and embodied the culture of the game, and he writes as a participant in the basketball community, putting into words what his body already knows. This book reflects the author’s personal experience and observation of the game, through the lens of contemporary cultural theory, and also examines the representation of basketball culture in popular media, including the films Hoop Dreams, Hoosiers, and White Men Can’t Jump. As only an insider can, Mc Laughlin takes readers onto the court and into the minds of players as they negotiate the culture of the game.

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Basketball as a Cultural Practice
2 The Ethics of Basketball
Basketball Movement and the Practice of Masculinity
4 Basketball Decision Makingand Postindustrial Culture
5 Basketball as Communityof Practice
6 Basketball and Racial Identity
Spectacle and Representation Display and Control
Movies about Basketball
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Page 4 - practice" I am going to mean any coherent and complex form of socially established cooperative human activity through which goods internal to that form of activity are realized in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to, and partially definitive of, that form of activity, with the result that human powers to achieve excellence, and human conceptions of the ends and goods involved, are systematically extended.
Page 5 - A virtue is an acquired human quality the possession and exercise of which tends to enable us to achieve those goods which are internal to practices and the lack of which effectively prevents us from achieving any such goods.

About the author

Thomas Mc Laughlin is Professor of English at Appalachian State University and the author of several books, including Street Smarts and Critical Theory: Listening to the Vernacular.

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