Sex, drugs and Barbie : gender verification, drug testing, and the commodification of the black female athlete

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

Representations of black female sporting bodies, when taken as what Susan Bordo (1997) refers to as “texts of culture,” operate as sites for an interrogation of the production and maintenance of ideologies of race, gender, sexuality and deviance in the context of Western society. The purpose of this thesis was to interrogate these ideologies within the context of sport by focusing specifically on media representations of three black track and field athletes—Florence Griffith Joyner, Marion Jones, and Caster Semenya. Using an ethnographic approach to content analysis this thesis shows the ways in which the bodies of black female athletes function as commodities, as well as they ways in which they become representations of deviance in sport.