March 25 - Woolmergate and cricket.doc

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University of Alberta
Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure Studies
Sean Ryan

March 25 – Woolmergate: Orientalist Depictions of Sport and Cricket Orientalism • Refers to views of the East by the West • Orientalism was a term coined by Edward Said • East is actually a poor term as it refers to an array of countries • Thus its more accurate to say orientalism refers to how the west views the rest • Consistently framed as an Us vs. Them binary • This binary is loaded with value: ‘We’ are superior to ‘Them’, ‘They’ are backward and quaint, ‘They’ are exotic or ‘alien’ • This binary also construct an Orient, obscuring the great cultural diversity of the places seen as the Orient At the same time as ‘We’ construct ‘Them’, the west is also built Ex. Knowing someone else as backward means you aren’t Ex. Constructing the east as religious, the West becomes rational and scientific Differences must be established in order to see the ‘Other’ as other than yourself Newspaper reactions Remarkably Consistent: • All 9 major daily papers discussed Woolmer’s death • 768 articles found • Only one contained anything critical • None of the regular Muslim commentators wrote articles • No reaction from Muslim organizations at all to present a counter voice • We only get englands view on the issue What does this say about the West? Woolmer was: • Calm • Could diffuse difficult situations • Calmed a team of eccentrics • Dignified • A principled sportsman • Someone who cared a lot • Tolerant, benevolent, and altruistic • Represented true English values • His wife was depicted as calm and rational Through such depictions, England is framed as the seat of: • Rationality • Humility • Philanthropy • Dignity • Compassion What about Paki’s Team? • Filled with eccentrics • Total lack of discipline • Typical paki shambles • Chaotic • Very turbulent • One of the most dysfunctional teams in world sport Pakistan Theme: irrationality • Bizarre place • A place full of vagaries
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