Dr. Ted M. Butryn
Professor of Sport Sociology & Sport Psychology
Department of Kinesiology
San Jose State University
Hello, and welcome to my academic e-space! If you are here, you are either a student, a colleague, a casual internet surfer, or hopelessly lost in cyberspace. Whoever you are, please feel free to read on...
I am currently in my 13th year at San Jose State University, located in the metallic heart of the Silicon Valley. More specifically, I am a Professor of Sport Sociology and Sport Psychology in the Department of Kinesiology. In addition, along with Dr. Matthew Masucci, I co-direct the Department of Kinesiology Qualitative Research Lab. Broadly speaking, my academic life involves the intersection between sport sociology, sport psychology, and cultural studies, and thus most of what I do comes from an interdisciplinary (or transdisciplinary) perspective. Further, as a critical scholar, progressive social change is a central part of my teaching, research, and service.
I teach a variety of courses in the graduate (sport sociology, qualitative research methods), undergraduate (psychology of coaching, sport sociology), and general education (diversity, stress, & health, stress management) programs. My primary research falls into two categories. First, I do work in the area of Cultural Studies and sport. I am very interested in the application of cyborg theory to sport, and the relationship between "natural" and "artificial" aspects of contemporary societies and bodies. For example, how can American cyclist Lance Armstrong be viewed as a postmodern cyborg hero? How do NCAA DI coaches see the role of technology affecting their profession? Outside of the cyborg arena, I'm continuing a line of research on the cultural meanings of professional wrestling, including, for example: 1) how pro wrestling and the WWE relates to neoliberalism and global capitalism, 2) how fans use tribute videos on YouTube to express their views on the deaths of WWE wrestler Chris Benoit and his family, and 3) how issues of access become complicated when doing ethnographic work on pro wrestling. These studies are part of a larger book with Larry deGaris on pro wrestling that centers on the notion of wrestling as a social practice based on cooperation rather than competition. Finally, along with colleagues Jay Johnson and Matt Masucci, I was the PI of a recently-completed 2-year World Anti-Doping Agency grant looking at how elite, female triathletes come to know about various forms of doping and the anti-doping movement.(Note: click on +2010 for summary)
Within the realm of applied sport psychology, my second major research line has involved the intersection between critical theory and sport psychology, and how issues of social difference manifest themselves within the applied setting. Specifically, I have published several articles and book chapters on issues related to racial and ethnic identities, drawing from the literature in whiteness studies. In addition, I am currently preparing a series of studies for submission, with my colleague Dr. Matthew Masucci, related to Mixed Martial Arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), specifically the aspects of MMA that relate to mental preparation and coping. We have recently had a paper accepted dealing with the print media's framing of the UFC from 1993-2006.
My graduate students have worked on, and in most cases published, theses and projects across the range of sport psychology and sociology, including: female college water polo players' retirement experiences, an existential phenomenological analysis of parkour, stress and coping in amateur male and female MMA athletes, an existential phenomenological analysis of depression among female college athletes, Athletic Trainers' perceptions of hockey violence and injury, motivations of DIII female athletes, and the motivations of cyclists participating in caused-based (e.g., Team in Training) programs. Finally, I continue to do a small amount of work as a volunteer sport psychology consultant for SJSU athletes, most recently women's gymnastic and soccer. Click here to go to the Sport Psychology homepage for more info on that program, or visit the Sport Studies grad program page.
For a more detailed overview at my academic life, feel free to check out a shorted version of my CV. If you are interested in sport and popular culture, you can also take a peek at my blog! I've also...gulp...taken to Twitter. Take care, and thanks for stopping by.