Sport-War Cartoon Art.
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)) 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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