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March 06, 2007

American Sociological Association Calls for the Discontinuation
of the Use of Native American Nicknames,
Logos, and Mascots in Sport

Research shows the use of Native American nicknames,
logos and mascots reinforces stereotypes.

WASHINGTON, DC — As part of its mission to promote sociological research findings for the benefit of society, the American Sociological Association (ASA) recognizes that racial prejudices, stereotypes, individual discrimination and institutional discrimination are socially created phenomena that are harmful to people of color.

Recent social science research and scholarship have shown that the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos, and mascots in sport reflects and reinforces misleading stereotypes of Native Americans in both past and contemporary times. Such usage also communicates implicit disrespect for spiritual and cultural practices.

Consistent with ASA’s efforts to promote the application of sociological research findings to the benefit of society, ASA calls for the discontinuation and elimination of the use of Native American nicknames, logos, and mascots in sport.

ASA member Laurel R. Davis-Delano, who researched the basis for the resolution, said upon release of the official ASA statement, “Native American sport mascots reinforce racial stereotypes of Native Americans, and have negative psychological, educational and social effects. Negative psychological outcomes for Native youth include lowered self-esteem, lowered views of one’s future potential, and more negative views of one's own Native people. In terms of educational effects, these mascots create a hostile school environment for some Native children, and teach all children stereotypes rather than realities about Native people. In terms of wider social effects, the stereotypes reinforced by the mascots create barriers to real understanding of Native peoples, and this limited understanding hinders the development of policies and practices that help rather than harm Native Americans."

For a full copy of the statement, click here, and to access a bibliography, click here.

To request an interview with Laurel R. Davis-Delano, contact Sujata Sinha by phone at (202) 247-9871 or via email at ssinha@asanet.org.
Research shows the use of Native American nicknames,

About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.