Synopses & Reviews
Perhaps the best golfer ever, Tiger Woods rocketed to the top of a once whites-only sport. Endorsements made him a global brand and the world’s richest athlete. The child of a multiracial marriage—with a father of white, black, and Native American descent and a mother who is part Dutch, as well as Chinese and Thai—Woods and his blond, blue-eyed wife, Elin Nordegren, seemed to represent a new postracial America. Then, in late 2009, Woods became embroiled in a sex scandal, as more than a dozen women recounted trysts with the married superstar. The anthropologist Orin Starn considers Tigergate in relation to the usual narrative of celebrity scandals, those ritualized, media-driven dramas that open with the first breathless reporting of celebrity transgression and end with a solemn public apology from the politician, entertainer, or athlete accused of wrongdoing. Each scandal has its own twists. Before Tigergate, scrutiny of Woods’s mixed-race heritage had seemed to wane with each major tournament victory. The revelations of his infidelities renewed attention to his skin color. The Passion of Tiger Woods offers new perspectives on race and sex, scandal and betrayal, Woods and the mythology surrounding him, and golf and its place in U.S. society. It is required reading for all those interested in the high-stakes world of professional sports and the celebrity-obsessed, media-saturated culture of early-twenty-first-century America.
Examines how the 2009 scandal around Tiger Woods illuminates the relation between love, sex, race, and sports in American culture and society.
Perhaps the best golfer ever, Tiger Woods rocketed to the top of a once whites-only sport. Endorsements made him a global brand and the worldandrsquo;s richest athlete. The child of a multiracial marriage, Woods and his blond, blue-eyed wife, Elin Nordegren, seemed to represent a new postracial America. Then, in late 2009, Woods became embroiled in a sex scandal that made headlines worldwide. In this concise yet far-reaching analysis, Orin Starn brings an anthropologistandrsquo;s perspective to bear on Tigergate. He explores our modern media obsession with celebrity scandals and their tawdry ritualized drama, yet he offers much more than the usual banal moralizing about the rich and famous. Starn explains how Tigerandrsquo;s travails and the culture of golf reflect broader American anxietiesandmdash;about race and sex, scapegoating and betrayal, and the role of the sports hero. The Passion of Tiger Woods is required reading for all those interested in the high-stakes world of professional golf, the politics of sports and celebrity, and the myths and realities surrounding the flawed yet riveting figure who remains among the most famous athletes of our time.
This book examines the career of Tiger Woods, from child star to global sports celebrity. Starn shows that while the scandal following the revelation of Tiger's infidelities was like many similar media-generated scandals of recent years, by examining the way Woods was seen afterwards, we can learn a lot about race and sex in contemporary America.
About the Author
Orin Starn is Professor and Chair of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He is the author of Nightwatch: The Politics of Protest in the Andes and a co-editor of The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics, both also published by Duke University Press. His most recent book is the award-winning Ishiandrsquo;s Brain: In Search of Americaandrsquo;s Last andldquo;Wildandrdquo; Indian. An avid golfer with a five handicap, Starn has written about golf for the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers and provided commentary on ESPN and NPR. He blogs about golf at golfpolitics.blogspot.com and regularly teaches a course about sports and society.
Table of Contents
1. Golf Backward Spells andquot;Flogandquot; 1
2. The Tiger Woods Revolution 23
3. Tigergate, Celebrity Scandal, and the Apology Society 39
4. Internet Wars, Sex Addiction, and the Crucifixion of Tiger Woods 55
5. Postracial Fantasies, Racial Realpolitik 67
6. Tiger's Penis 85
7. Out of the Woods? 107