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Title:Framing the Cape Town World Cup stadium in the media: the politics of identity and sports in South Africa
Author:Chuma, Wallace
Periodical:Journal of African Media Studies (ISSN 1751-7974)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:mobile telephone
public opinion
Abstract:In June/July 2010, South Africa successfully hosted the FIFA Soccer World Cup, the largest sporting and media event on earth. It was the first time the mega-spectacle was held on African soil. It offered the host country the opportunity to showcase it as a successful 'African event', thereby celebrating contemporary African culture while simultaneously challenging commonly held prejudices about the continent. Within South Africa itself, the event - as was the case with previous mega-events like the 1995 Rugby World Cup - created imaginaries of a cohesive, shared national identity. And yet, when one explores the contours of the (mediated) public debate leading to the hosting of the 2010 event, it becomes possible to see this 'cohesion' as transient in a country in which a segregated racial past keeps lurking beneath the surface of a fractured post-apartheid transition. This article critically examines one site of public contestation ahead of the hosting of the World Cup: the debate around the merits of building the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town for the semi-final match as it was framed by readers of the Cape Argus newspaper in 2007 through published short message service (SMS) messages. A framing analysis of the text messages reveals the different ways in which the stadium emerges, not just as a piece of infrastructure but as an embodiment of the conflicting racial, class, political and sporting identities in the Western Cape and South Africa more broadly. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]