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Thunder, Indians, and Mythological Birds: School Mascot Changes in Western Wisconsin

By Joseph Avery

Abstract

In American society, people identify themselves not just with their creed, race, or ethnicity, but also their sports teams. This tightly knit identity creates a culture within itself that presents the beliefs, norms, and way of life of the people intertwined within it. While most prominent at NCAA Division I and professional levels, this identification also occurs at the local level, such as at high schools and smaller colleges. In some situations schools are forced to change their mascot or team name. This paper will examine an identity crisis at three separate schools in western Wisconsin during the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and explain how the schools went about choosing a new mascot or team name. The three different case studies will examine controversial identities, lack of an identity, and popularity creating an identity

Topics: Indians as mascots--Wisconsin--Case studies, Sports team mascots--Wisconsin--Case studies, Sports team mascots--Social aspects--Wisconsin
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:minds.wisconsin.edu:1793/65073

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