Project 3, Part 1

I chose the Jock/Athlete subculture to research.  The general definition of a jock is just a male athlete, usually highschool or college age.  Due mostly to high school Hollywood films, jock has become a stereotype for a popular, muscular, dumb bully.  I’m going to focus on this stereotype, but keep in mind that it is a stereotype and so often incorrect.

Here is what Wikepedia says about it:

“The following is a list which includes the various characteristics of the jock stereotype often borrowed by the media:

  • Stuck-up and self-centered
  • Aggressive, angered quickly and short-tempered
  • Rude and arrogant
  • Handsome, muscular and athletic
  • Unintelligent
  • Abusing alcohol and drugs
  • Generally popular with girls
  • Sex – earlier and more casual
  • A bully against people who are “uncool” or less popular than they are such as nerds or outsiders.

As such, a common belief is that jocks are given preferential treatment (such as little or no punishment for misbehavior, and/or receiving unearned passing grades) solely to maintain the jocks’ athletic eligibility (treatment that, by implication, would not be given to non-jocks).”

  • Look of a typical jock


(Usually sporting the letterman jacket)


(often found in ‘packs’)


(Popular, dates cheerleaders)


  • Jocks vs. Nerds

High School Jocks and a Nerd.

(YouTube video: Jocks vs. Nerds stereotypes)


  • Examples of movies portraying the jock stereotype


(“Flash” vs. Peter Parker in The Amazing Spiderman, nerd gets revenge)

(Biff from Back to the Future)


(Although not necessarily and athlete, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast is the typical stereotype jock: buff, self-centered, and not all that bright)


(the Glee jocks, again, letterman jackets)


(Freddie Prinze Jr. and Paul Walker in She’s All That)


(Emilio Estevez in The Breakfast Club)


(Ryan McCarthy in Never Back Down)


(Trent DeMarco in Transformers)


Here’s a little conversation from the movie:

Trent: You know, I thought I recognized you. You tried out for the football team last year, right?

Sam Witwicky: Oh, no, no, that… No. That, that wasn’t like a real try-out. I was researching a book I was writing.

Trent: Oh, yeah?

Sam Witwicky: Yeah!

Trent: [grinning] Yeah? What’s it about? Sucking at sports?

Sam Witwicky: [laughs a little] No, it’s about the link between brain damage and football.

[Trent looks really angry, while Mikaela hides a smile]

Sam Witwicky: [nods head] No, it… it’s a good book. Your friends will love it. You know, it’s got mazes in it and, you know, little coloring areas, sections, pop-up pictures. It’s… a lot of fun.

  • The site gives the stereotypical jock the name Jerk Jock:

“In every school, there’s a Jerk Jock. See that tall, hunky and vulgar blond guy in the football letterman jacket picking on the nerd over there? What’s his name, Troy? Lance? Clay? One of those? That’s him.” (

  • Jock are often related to the preppie stereotype/sub culture because it is common for them to be portrayed as having sports cars, wearing name brand clothing, hosting big parties.  (Kind of like the character Luke Ward from The OC)

luke ward

  • These are a few items/things associated with jocks:


(letterman jacket)


(a cheerleader)


(jock strap – I include this because this is supposedly where the term ‘jock’ came from, and not the other way around)


  • Here is a little quote in opposition to the “dumb jock” stereotype:

(by Dr. Sabina Kleitman, a psychology professor at The University of Sydney and Herbert W. Marsh, a colleague)

“Achievement can be measured in many ways—grades, homework, attendance, standardized test scores, and enrollment in college. In all of these areas except standardized test scores, even after controlling for economic status, race, and other background variables, athletic participation was significantly correlated to academic achievement. Even after controlling for academic success in 8th and 10th grade, athletic participation was still associated with positive academic outcomes in 13 out of 21 measures in 12th grade and 2 years out of high school. This suggests that athletic participation itself may be responsible for some academic achievement—the later achievement isn’t completely explained by earlier academic success.”


And just to be fair, not all jocks unintelligent jerks.  Jocks are just athletes that live for the game.  Here are just a few of my favorites that defy the jock stereotype:

(Sean Astin in Rudy)


(Eric Liddell portray in the inspirational movie Chariots of Fire)


(And, of course, my little brother who eats and breathes football)

photo shoot3

Word Map: Jock/Athletes

Untitled document

Concept Statement:

A jock is usually a high school or college male athlete known for his muscular build, lack of intelligence, and narcissism.  He struts around campus like a king, with pretty girls hanging from is biceps and nerds ducking for cover as he walks by.


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