Event Title

Spider-Man: Sacred vs. Profane

Location

CSU 244

Start Date

25-4-2005 10:30 AM

End Date

25-4-2005 12:00 PM

Student's Major

Communication Studies

Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Mentor's Name

Brian R. Klosa

Mentor's Department

Communication Studies

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Description

Bmile Durkheim distinguished between sacred and the profane arguing that "the idea of the sacred is always and everywhere separated from the idea of the profane" and this distinction has been extended to the study of communication and rhetoric. Mary Ellen Boyle applied this distinction to Major League Baseball contending that it enacts a tension between these two realms of human interaction: the sacred, baseball as "America's past-time," in conflict with the profane, baseball as big business. This research extended those conclusions, applying the sacred and profane to explain the conflict surrounding Major League Baseball's decision to promote the movie Spiderman II by putting logos on the bases. The research suggests that the dichotomy as constructed by Durkheim and Boyle must be reframed to adequately interpret the public conflict. When fans revolted. Major League Baseball's response, to remove the advertising and restore baseball to it 'sacred' status, sublimated the profane concern for revenue rather than enacting a clear distinction between the two. The performance of the sacred was a profane act and the profane desire was realized through respect for the sacred.

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Apr 25th, 10:30 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

Spider-Man: Sacred vs. Profane

CSU 244

Bmile Durkheim distinguished between sacred and the profane arguing that "the idea of the sacred is always and everywhere separated from the idea of the profane" and this distinction has been extended to the study of communication and rhetoric. Mary Ellen Boyle applied this distinction to Major League Baseball contending that it enacts a tension between these two realms of human interaction: the sacred, baseball as "America's past-time," in conflict with the profane, baseball as big business. This research extended those conclusions, applying the sacred and profane to explain the conflict surrounding Major League Baseball's decision to promote the movie Spiderman II by putting logos on the bases. The research suggests that the dichotomy as constructed by Durkheim and Boyle must be reframed to adequately interpret the public conflict. When fans revolted. Major League Baseball's response, to remove the advertising and restore baseball to it 'sacred' status, sublimated the profane concern for revenue rather than enacting a clear distinction between the two. The performance of the sacred was a profane act and the profane desire was realized through respect for the sacred.

Recommended Citation

Randall, Joshua E.. "Spider-Man: Sacred vs. Profane." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 25, 2005.
https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2005/oral-session-C/6