Je suis …

Ta objava je bila prvič objavljena na drugem mestu. Nekateri bralci so predlagali, da jo objavim še tukaj. Prijetno branje, torej.

Med kuhanjem in sploh opravljanjem gospodinjskih opravil pogosto preko podcastov ali YouTuba poslušam posnetke italijanskih radijskih ali televizijskih oddaj (medije v angleškem jeziku – Economist, BBC, New York Times, čedalje pogosteje Guardian – spremljam v tiskani ali spletni obliki, od slovenskih medijev spremljam spletno stran rtvslo.si). V zadnjih dneh je bila ena od pogostejših tem pisanja in pogovora v teh medijih teroristični napad na uredništvo francoskega satiričnega tednika Charlie Hebdo. Po poslušanju pogovora s profesorjem Rezo Aslanom na CNN-u in tistega z Beppejem Severgninijem in Errijem De Luco na La7 sem se vnovič razveselil, da mi je študij omogočil pridobivanje znanja o socialni psihologiji. Tako ameriška spraševalca kot italijanska respondenta so se namreč osredotočali na razliko med »nami« in »njimi«, kot da so vsi muslimani teroristi, ali pa da so vsi teroristi tudi muslimani, kot da Evropa (kar) pripada (zgolj) »nam« in da so »naše« vrednote bolj pravilne, kot da imajo muslimani in tudi vsi ostali pravico do svobode govora – a le, dokler govorijo tisto, kar je nam všeč.

Koncept »sebe« in biti »naš« lepo opisuje teorija socialne identitete, ki razlaga, kako se v različnih družbenih situacijah doživljamo bodisi kot posamezniki (tj. »jaz«) bodisi kot pripadniki družbene skupine (npr. navijač športne ekipe, privrženec določenih političnih idej, pripadnik posameznega naroda). Te identitete se med seboj ne izključujejo, pač pa različne identitete pridejo do izraza v različnih situacijah (v pogovoru o aktualnem stanju v družbi pride recimo do izraza to, da so ljudje »desničarji« ali »levičarji,« pri potovanju v tujino to, da so »Slovenci,« itd.). Iz te teorije izhajajoča teorija samokategorizacije pa razlaga, kako se v sklopu pripadnosti teh skupin (ki so bodisi formalno bodisi neformalno določene; nekdo se lahko opredeljuje za »levičarja,« tudi če ni član nobene politične stranke, ali pa za »Slovenca« tudi če nima slovenskega državljanstva in živi v drugi državi) ljudje ne samo razlikujejo med seboj (jaz sem levičar), pač pa tudi vrednotijo (levičarske vrednote, v katere verjamem – »moje« vrednote – so bolj pravilne oziroma boljše od tvojih). Moje ideje, vrednote, prepričanja so torej boljše in bolj pravilne (le) zato, ker v njih verjamem sam; svoji potrebi po samopotrditvi zadostim tako, da lastnostim, ki naj bi (!) bile značilne za skupino, h kateri se sam uvrščam, pripišem večjo veljavo kot lastnostim, ki naj bi bile značilne za primerljive skupine, h katerim se ne uvrščam.

Pojavne oblike tega koncepta so sila preproste. Nazoren primer so poklicni politiki, ki se v svojih izjavah za »domače,« npr. slovenske medije idejno razlikujejo in posledično nasprotujejo in tekmujejo (»levi« proti »desnim«), v odnosu do Evropske unije pa ta nasprotja – ta del njihove identitete – postavijo na stran in pogosto skupaj nastopajo v odnosu do drugih »drugih« (zastopanje »slovenskih interesov« v odnosu do »Nemčije, »Evropske unije,« »trojke« itd.). Kljub temu zgledu identiteta seveda ni omejena samo na politiko, pač pa na sleherni del posameznikove identitete (npr. regionalno poreklo – »Štajerci,« »Primorci;« poklicni stan – »javni sektor,« »zaposleni v gospodarstvu;« narodnost – »Slovenci;« športno navijaštvo – »Green Dragonsi,« »Viole;« spol – »vsi moški so…,« »vse ženske so…;« starost – »stari živijo v preteklosti,« »mladi so nespoštljivi« in tako dalje).

Demonstriranje v prid svobodi govora v Franciji in Italiji se mi zdi zanimivo, pa tudi precej protislovno. V Franciji so se zgodile množične demonstracije v prid svobodi govora in (posredno) v prid svobodi časopisa, da (v imenu satire) omalovažuje želje oziroma prepričanja muslimanov, katerih vera ne dopušča slikovno prikazovanje preroka Mohameda. Zanimivo pa podobnih demonstracij v prid svoode govora ni bilo, ko je sodišče prav v Franciji februarja 2014 odredila komiku in političnemu aktivistu Dieudonnu M’bali M’bali izbris internetnih videoposnetkov, kritičnih do judaizma, ker naj bi pozivali k etničnemu oziroma verskemu sovraštvu. Italija tudi ni množično demonstrirala, ko stranka, imenovana Severna liga (zdaj samo še Liga), redno protestira proti prihodu beguncev iz afriških in bližnjevzhodnih držav v vojni. Protestirali niso niti, ko je nekdanji predsednik italijanske vlade zaukazal ukinitev nekaterih televizijskih oddaj, ki so bili kritični do dela vlade. Demonstracij v prid svobodi govora v Parizu se je menda udeležil tudi ministrski predsednik Miro Cerar. Kolikor vem, ta ni protestiral proti »domačemu« etničnemu nasilju, ko so otroci v Desklah pretepli 10-letnega sošolca bosanske narodnosti.

Obsojam teroristični napad na uredništvo časopisa Charlie Hebdo. Obsojam žaljenje Judov. Obsojam ukinjanje kritičnih televizijskih oddaj. Obsojam pretep desetletnega otroka bosanske narodnosti. Vendar obsojam tudi nepotrebno žaljenje muslimanov. Svobodo govora in mišljenja štejem za eno najpomembnejših, če ne najpomembnejšo temeljno človekovo svoboščino. Vendar mislim, da je to tako pravica kot odgovornost; svoboda govora in mišljenja zame vključuje tudi svobodo pustiti drugim, da živijo po svojih načelih, in jim jih ne odtegovati ali namenoma kršiti. Kakšna pa je ta pravica do svobode, če jo drugim odtegujem.

Paradoksalno, zaradi svojega razumevanja koncepta svobode govora moram to svobodo dopustiti tudi tistim, s katerimi se ne strinjam. Morda največ, kar lahko naredim – gotovo pa nekaj, kar moram narediti, če želim biti aktivni član družbe – pa je svoja prepričanja deliti in se s tem truditi za strpnejše sobivanje z vsemi, s katerimi se ne strinjamo.

Vsak tretji ponedeljek v januarju ZDA obhajajo »Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.« Praznik v spomin na rojstni dan ameriškega duhovnika in aktivista (ta se je sicer rodil 15. januarja 1929) letos pade ravno na današnji oz. jutrišnji dan, tj. v ponedeljek, 19. januarja. Ena njegovih izjav je bila, »Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,« ali v prostem prevodu, »nepravičnost kjer koli ogrozi pravico vsepovsod.« Tega ne gre pozabiti – nikjer ni nikoli.

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Quote in The Guardian

I was recently quoted in an article on the role of moral enforcer that sport has in (American) society published by the US edition of The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/oct/09/-sp-problem-sports-america-isnt-what-you-think.

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Interview on RTVSLO.si

The end of the Winter Olympics seemed like a good opportunity to talk about the 2013 European Basketball Championship, sport media research, sport journalism on both sides of the Atlantic, and football! I spoke about them with Slavko Jerič from RTVSLO.si, the website of the Slovenian public service broadcaster. The interview (in Slovenian) reads great to me! Here is a link to the story: http://www.rtvslo.si/sport/novice/licen-mednarodni-potencial-eurobasketa-utegne-biti-skromnejsi/330234.

I am greatly indebted to Jim Crawford who took some really nice pictures of me around the Washington State University Pullman campus!

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Quote in Pacific Standard

A few months ago I was quoted in a story published on the Pacific Standard website. The story focused on politics and sport, ranging from the recent Richard Sherman controversy to Soviet sports clubs. In case you were wondering, I spoke about the latter!

Here is a link to the story on the Pacific Standard website: http://www.psmag.com/navigation/politics-and-law/super-bowl-america-political-race-sports-73558/. I am happy to have been quoted by such a prestigious American news outlet!

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Interview on Val 202

Despite the update I posted in December, www.simonlicen.com has not been updated yet. Hopefully I will be able to do so over the summer at the latest.

In the meantime, readers (and listeners!) in Slovenia might be interested in an interview I did with Slovenian public broadcaster, Val 202. In January, I spoke with them about life in the United States, working at Washington State University, sport, media, and research. Here is the link: http://val202.rtvslo.si/2014/01/vsak-dan-grem-lahko-v-moskvo/.

Happy listening!

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Site being updated

Please note that I am in the process of updating this website. The sections of this site will be slightly rearranged, and a Slovenian version of the site will finally be introduced. The changes will likely take some time, but hopefully the final product will be even more interesting and informative to the readers.

It has been two years since this site has been up and running. It was launched just before New Year in late December 2011 so it is now celebrating two years of existance. Let me wish all the readers of this website Happy New Year, and please come back often!

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International Sports Press Survey 2011 book published

A new book detailing the results of the International Sports Press Survey conducted in 2011 has recently been published.

The world’s largest study of its kind helps identify similarities and differences in sports reporting on a global scale. The results are placed in the context of the print media crisis, and conclusions that reflect on the new challenges for sports journalism are drawn.

The International Sports Press Survey 2011 is a comparative study on the quality of sports reporting in print media. The book (ISBN-13: 978-3732278862) is edited by Thomas Horky and Jörg-Uwe Nieland and offers data from 22 countries and detailed insight into 14 countries. The study was conducted with the support of Play the Game, an international conference and communication initiative aiming to strengthen the ethical foundation of sport and promote democracy, transparency and freedom of expression in sport.

The book also includes a chapter I authored describing the specifics of the sports press in Slovenia. The chapter, entitled simply, “Slovenia,” can be read on pages 148 through 162.

The book can be purchased from Amazon, and fans of the topic can log on to the book and research’s dedicated Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/isps2011.

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International collab paper published

“From Pride to Smugness and the Nationalism Between: Olympic Media Consumption Effects on Nationalism Across the Globe” is the title of a paper I co-authored with seven co-authors from five countries and four continents.  The article has now been published in the latest issue of Mass Communication and Society.

The article documents a study conducted in six countries (Australia, Bulgaria, China, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and the United States) aimed at measuring the relationships between Olympic media viewing and nation-based attitudes.

The study showed that the amount of Olympic viewing impacts individual attitudes regarding patriotism, nationalism, and smugness.  Contrary to expectations, Olympic viewing does not impact favorable attitudes to internationalism.

The study was coordinated by Andrew C. Billings from the University of Alabama.  Co-authors included Natalie A. Brown and Kenon A. Brown from the University of Alabama; Guoqing from Chengdu Sport University; Mark A. Leeman from Northern Kentucky University; David R. Novak from Erasmus University in the Netherlands; David Rowe from the University of New South Wales; and myself.

The editorial board of Mass Communication and Society, a scholarly journal published by Taylor and Francis, decided to publish it in Issue 6, Vol. 16, of the journal, published in December 2013.

The article can be found on the journal website.  Happy reading!

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Article published in International Review for the Sociology of Sport

After being published “online first” almost 18 months ago, the article, Affirming nationality in transnational circumstances: Slovenian coverage of continental franchise sports competitions, I co-authored from Andrew Billings from the University of Alabama is finally published in the print edition of the International Review for the Sociology of Sport.

The article is published in the December issue of the journal currently edited by Lawrence Wenner.  It examines discursive framing of nationality within broadcasts of international men’s basketball and women’s team handball games on Slovenian television.

The abstract and full article can be found here.

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Media appearances

I was recently featured in a number of media outlets.

During the European Basketball Championship for Men hosted by Slovenia, I was interviewed by the Finance newspaper to speak about the impact of the competition for the Slovenian economy.  The interview was published on the newspaper website and garnered some positive comments; it can be found here but unfortunately it is only accessible to subscribers.  Statements published in this interview were also picked up and quoted by TV Slovenija.

The Slovenian public radio broadcaster, Val 202, interviewed me to speak about a survey I am conducting with Renata Slabe-Erker from the Institute of Economic Research in Ljubljana.  The topic of the interview was the attitude of sports fans during competitions such as the EuroBasket.  The interview can be heard here.

National interest landed me international attention as WSU News wrote an extensive profile about me and my work.  Although I think being referred to as a Sports Superstar is an overstatement, I am very happy to be noticed by the wider community at my new employer!

Very recently, I was also interviewed by WikiNews.  The interview revolved around the impending Paralympic Games and US media’s attitudes about them.  The interview can be read here.  An Ukrainian version of the interview is also available!

I thank the friends and colleagues who helped me land such fantastic opportunities to showcase my work in the national and international media.  This motivates me to focus even more on research to be able to present it to the broader public in the future, too!

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