The athlete as model minority subject: Jose Bautista and Canadian multiculturalism


Journal Article

The discourse of multiculturalism disguises complicated racial dynamics in nations such as Canada. Although white privilege persists, it tends to be mediated through non-white figures who can engender consent from other minority members. These figures have been called model minorities, a role that is well-tailored to celebrated athletes. Athletes who fill the role of model minority represent the ideal immigrant citizen: English-speaking, middle class/bourgeois, disciplined, and hard-working. As such, they serve a disciplinary function for other immigrants by demonstrating how it is they should act and producing a standard against which they are evaluated. The model minority has become a crucial representational figure for multicultural nations like Canada because the political economy of these states requires cheap labour that can be hyper-exploited through the dehumanization of racialization. Drawing on articles in Toronto's most prominent newspapers, I argue that Toronto Blue Jays baseball star Jose Bautista has recently assumed the status of a model minority. I elaborate the functions of the model minority through a reading of Bautista's representation. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kalman-Lamb, N

Published Date

  • March 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 238 - 253

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1363-0296

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1350-4630

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/13504630.2013.789219

Citation Source

  • Scopus