Cheerleader!: An American Icon

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9781403961846: Cheerleader!: An American Icon
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Entertainers, sex objects, or athletes? Leaders, porn stars, or superstars? Cheerleaders, numbering 3.8 million in the United States alone, are part of everyone's school experiences and memories. Looking beyond the poms and megaphones, Cheerleader! An American Icon explores how cheerleading reflects our shifting beliefs about sports, entertainment, gender, and national identity. Natalie Guice Adams and Pamela J. Bettis trace cheerleading's history from its inception 135 years ago as a male leadership activity, through the sexual and sassy era epitomized by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, to its current incarnation as a physically demanding sport. Integrating history, pop culture, and interviews wiht cheerleaders of all ages, even those in the cheerleading business, Adams and Bettis simultaneously celebrate cheerleading and provide a critical analysis of this perennially popular activity. Poignant, hilarious, powerful, and ground-breaking, this is one book you won't want to be without.

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Book Description:

Entertainers, ditzes, or athletes? Cheerleaders: Love them, hate them, hate to love them, they are part of everyone's school experiences and memories. 3.8 million cheerleaders participate in competitions or lead cheers at sports events. Going beyond the poms and megaphones, Cheerleader! An American Icon explores how cheerleading reflects our shifting beliefs about sports, entertainment, gender and national identity. Adams and Bettis trace cheerleading's history, from its beginnings 135 years ago as a male leadership activity, through the sexual and sassy era epitomized by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, to its current incarnation as a physically demanding sport. Integrating history, pop culture, interviews with cheerleaders of all ages and those in the cheerleading business, Adams and Bettis simultaneously celebrate cheerleading and provide a critical analysis of this perennially popular activity.

About the Author:

Natalie Guice Adams is Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Alabama and was a Winnsboro, Louisiana cheerleader from 1975-1980.

Pamela J. Bettis is assistant professor in the College of Education at Washington State University. She tried out for the Churchland, Virginia cheer squad in 1969; for unknown reasons, she was not selected.

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