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Council Passes New Resolution

As part of its mission to promote sociological research findings that can benefit society, the American Sociological Association (ASA) has spoken on various occasions about the ways in which racial prejudices and stereotypes as well as individual and institutional discrimination are socially created phenomena that are harmful to people of color.

In March 2007, Council unanimously called for the discontinuation and elimination of the use of Native American nicknames, logos, and mascots in sport. Council took this step after receiving a resolution proposed by ASA members Laurel R. Davis–Delano and Jeffrey Montes de Oca that was also signed by a large number of other Association members. Council reviewed a bibliography of up–to–date scholarship compiled by Davis–Delano for teaching and research on the subject of Native American mascots and also reviewed similar research compiled by the American Psychological Association as background for its 2005 statement on this issue.

The ASA statement below, and the bibliography, can be found on the Governance page of the ASA website.

March 5, 2007
WHEREAS the American Sociological Association comprises sociologists and kindred professionals who study, among other things, culture, religion, media, sport, race and ethnicity, racism, and other forms of inequality;

WHEREAS the American Sociological Association recognizes that racial prejudice, stereotypes, individual discrimination and institutional discrimination are socially created phenomena that are harmful to Native Americans and other people of color;

WHEREAS the American Sociological Association is resolved to undertake scholarship, education, and action that helps to eradicate racism;

WHEREAS social science scholarship has demonstrated that the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport reflect and reinforce misleading stereotypes of Native Americans in both past and contemporary times;

WHEREAS the stereotypes embedded in Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport undermine education about the lives of Native American peoples;

WHEREAS social science scholarship has demonstrated that the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport harm Native American people in psychological, educational, and social ways;

WHEREAS the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport shows disrespect for Native American spiritual and cultural practices;

WHEREAS many Native American individuals across the United States have found Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport offensive and called for their elimination;

AND,WHEREAS the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport has been condemned by numerous reputable academic, educational and civil rights organizations, and the vast majority of Native American advocacy organizations, including but not limited to: American Anthropological Association, American Psychological Association, North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Modern Language Association, United States Commission on Civil Rights, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Association of American Indian Affairs, National Congress of American Indians, and National Indian Education Association;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, THAT THE AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION calls for discontinuing the use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport.

Join the discussion about this article at members.asanet.org/Forums/view_forum.php?id=11.