Protecting Home: Class, Race, and Masculinity in Boys' Baseball by Sherri GrasmuckProtecting Home: Class, Race, and Masculinity in Boys' Baseball by Sherri Grasmuck

Protecting Home: Class, Race, and Masculinity in Boys' Baseball

bySherri Grasmuck

Paperback | April 19, 2005

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What can neighborhood baseball tell us about class and gender cultures, urban change, and the ways that communities value public space? Through a close exploration of a boys’ baseball league in a gentrifying neighborhood of Philadelphia, sociologist Sherri Grasmuck reveals the accommodations and tensions that characterize multicultural encounters in contemporary American public life. Based on years of ethnographic observation and interviews with children, parents, and coaches, Protecting Home offers an analysis of the factors that account for racial accommodation in a space that was previously known for racial conflict and exclusion. Grasmuck argues that the institutional arrangements and social characteristics of children’s baseball create a cooperative environment for the negotiation of social, cultural, and class differences.

Chapters explore coaching styles, parental involvement, institutional politics, parent-child relations, and children’s experiences. Grasmuck identifies differences in the ways that the mostly white, working-class “old-timers” and the racially diverse, professional newcomers relate to the neighborhood. These distinctions reflect a competing sense of cultural values related to individual responsibility toward public space, group solidarity, appropriate masculine identities, and how best to promote children’s interests—a contrast between “hierarchical communalism” and “child-centered individualism.”

Through an innovative combination of narrative approaches, this book succeeds both in capturing the immediacy of boys’ interaction at the playing field and in contributing to sophisticated theoretical debates in urban studies, the sociology of childhood, and masculinity studies.

Sherri Grasmuck is a professor of sociology at Temple University. She is the coauthor of Between Two Islands: Dominican International Migration. Janet Goldwater is a photographer and documentary filmmaker. She coproduced the award-winning PBS broadcasts Maggie Growls, Landowska, and Motherless: A Legacy of Loss from Illegal Abortion.
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Title:Protecting Home: Class, Race, and Masculinity in Boys' BaseballFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:April 19, 2005Publisher:Rutgers University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0813535557

ISBN - 13:9780813535555

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Editorial Reviews

"The best traditions of community and urban sociology come alive in this fantastic work of participant observation. Sherri Grasmuck shows us the people, narrates their lives, and links them to as sophisticated a take on race and class to be found in any contemporary urban ethnography. She is a beautiful writer with that rarest of gifts—a sober crticial voice, an unrelenting systemacticity, the wisdom of personal experience, and sense of humor which comes together in a deep act of interpretation and explanation. Janet Goldwater's fantastic photographs merge with the text to produce a documentary account of how we live today in multicultural America, one which takes its place among the finest firsthand studies."