Race Appropriate? Examining the Association Between Racial Stereotypes and Golf

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Poster Area 1 (Foyer Outside Exhibit Hall C) (Convention Center)
Anthony Rosselli and George B. Cunningham, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Background/Purpose Despite efforts for equality of opportunity, there is evidence of racial segregation in sport (Eitzen & Sage, 2009). This is observed in who participates in various sports Lapchick, 2010) and in the sports in which participants feel most efficacious (Harrison et al., 1999). In this study, we examine the degree to which stereotypes contribute to this trend. Specifically, we examined the association people have between golf and African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Whites.

Method Data were collected from 216 students enrolled at a US pubic university. Based on pilot testing, we developed a scale that described a “general golfer. Examples include “mental strength,” “persistence,” and “upper class.” Using a 7-point scale, participants rated the degree to which “a general golfer,” African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Whites all exhibited these characteristics.

Analysis/Results All scale were internally consistent. Correlation analysis showed that the association between a golfer in general and Whites was strongest (r = .49), followed by the association with Asians (r = .34), Hispanics (r = .27), and African Americans (r = .23). The association between a golfer in general and Whites and Asians was significantly stronger than the corresponding associations for Hispanics and African Americans, t's > 2.9, p's < .05.

Conclusions Results show that people have stereotypes about who is best suited to play golf and who is not. These differences can influence the segregation in sport and choices people make concerning their sport participation. Future research with other sports is needed.