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Neoliberal Chicago$
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Larry Bennett, Roberta Garner, and Euan Hague

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040597

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040597.001.0001

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Sports and Blue-Collar Mythology in Neoliberal Chicago

Sports and Blue-Collar Mythology in Neoliberal Chicago

(p.119) Chapter 5 Sports and Blue-Collar Mythology in Neoliberal Chicago
Neoliberal Chicago

Sean Dinces

Christopher Lamberti

, Larry Bennett, Roberta Garner, Euan Hague
University of Illinois Press

This chapter argues that the growing obsession of sportswriters in recent decades with so-called “blue-collar” fan bases and “blue-collar” professional athletes has abetted the larger project of neoliberalism by masking and justifying economic inequality in cities like Chicago. The ongoing insistence of Chicago’s sports pages that local teams enjoy the support of “blue-collar” fan bases erases successful efforts by teams to price out the working-class by increasingly catering to affluent fans on the winning side of the upward redistribution of wealth. Moreover, the relatively recent trend of local journalists labeling Chicago’s professional, millionaire athletes as “blue-collar” encapsulates the broader trend within the mainstream media of discussing class as a matter of personal style rather than a matter of material circumstance.

Keywords:   neoliberalism, Chicago, blue-collar, social class, professional sports, sports-writing

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