Spectacle, Distance, and Threat: Attendance and Integration of Major League Baseball, 19301961 Academic Article uri icon


  • We examine the effect of the visibility of African American, Latino, and Jewish baseball players on attendance at Major League Baseball games between 1930 and 1961. We invoke the sociological concepts of social distance, spectacle, and group threat and incorporate data focusing on the era of integration to expand on previous research in this arena. Notably, African American and Latino player visibilitybut not that of other groupsis revealed to increase attendance at games. This effect weakens for losing teams and in cities with relatively larger minority populations. The findings suggest a synthesis of theories is possible.

published proceedings

  • Sociology of Sport Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Breckenridge, R. S., & Goldsmith, P. R.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM