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Symbolism in North American Sports

By Laurie Milne October 15, 2016 - 11:31am

The topic of symbols in the archaeological record and the contemporary use and abuse of symbols by nations and ethnic groups is examined by Colin Renfrew and Paul Bahn in several chapters of Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice (Thames and Hudson, 2012).  For additional perspectives students enrolled in Anthropology 272 may be interested in the article "Harmful Traditions Take Focus" which appeared in the Globe and Mail on Friday October 14, 2016.  Author Simon Houpt provides a brief history of controversial team names in North American sports and highlights the evolution of the team name and mascot of the professional baseball team from Cleveland, Ohio.  Underlying the debate is the growing belief that First Nations names and  iconography  are no longer appropriate.  The debate has pitted traditionalists who resist change against those who argue for cultural sensitivity and who promote renaming initiatives.


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