Carmen Longas Luque | Race/Ethnicity discourses in sports media. How racist is Spanish televised football?

Carmen Longas Luque | Race/Ethnicity discourses in sports media. How racist is Spanish televised football? | Overarching project: How racist is televised football and do audiences react? | Erasmus University Rotterdam | Promotor: Prof. dr. Susanne Janssen; Co-promotor: Dr. Jacco van Sterkenburg | Project dates: January 2019 – December 2022 | longasluque[at]

This PhD project is part of a larger research project which examines discourses about race and ethnicity in televised football in several European countries. This project in particular, focuses on Spain.

Sports media is able to attract large audiences and in Europe, this is particularly the case with televised football. Despite journalism’s strive for objectivity, discourses in live coverages or post-match highlights may convey ideas that help produce and reproduce common stereotypes about race and ethnicity. While in other countries a difference in how football players are portrayed based on race/ethnicity has already been reported, it is still unknown whether this also applies to Spanish televised football.

Most research regarding this topic has focused on the content of these discourses, leaving the production and reception processes unexplored. Accordingly, we explore how these discourses are produced in the newsrooms and how do journalist’s ethnicities –predominantly white – influence the meanings given to race/ethnicity. This will as well contribute to extending the literature on whiteness in media production. Furthermore, we explore how content and production processes impact the reception of these messages by the audience. Considering all this, the main research question that we try to answer is How do discourses of race/ethnicity play a role in Spanish televised football production, and how are these discourses articulated at the nexus of televised football content and audience receptions?

Bringing these three processes together in one project, and using methods from different disciplines, such as content analysis or ethnographic work, is what makes this project innovative in its field.

At the end of the project, a follow-up study will compare the results obtained in the different European countries.