Sport-War Cartoon Art.

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Rinehart, R.E. ; Caudwell, Jayne (2018)

In this paper, we explore the extent to which political cartoons and comic strips (as mediated public and political visual art, the ninth art (cf., Groensteen, 2007[1999])) subvert/confirm institutional values of so-called Western democracies during times of war. Our concern — as sociologists of sport — is with the ways dominant sporting sensibilities are (re)presented in cartoon art, and how sport itself is conflated with patriotic ideologies of war as a vehicle for propaganda. In particular, we interrogate how competitive-sporting ideals are aligned with war and conflict, and mobilised by cartoons during periods of Western-asserted conflict. We are intrigued by how some cartoon illustrations have the visual power to misplace, simplify, and essentialise — via sporting analogy — the intense and complex emotions surrounding war. Our aim is to examine how the visual within popular culture is used to dis-connect and disengage a public with the realities of war and human conflict.
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