Tiger's Silver Bullet: Humanity

Woods' icy demeanor won't get him back in society's good graces
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2009 2:53 PM CST
This is an April 11, 2008, file photo showing Tiger Woods hitting out of a bunker on the second hole during the second round of the 2008 Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
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(Newser) – A classic anthropological model suggests that Tiger Woods has to show humility and humanity if he's to win back his fans. From a scientific perspective, "it's already clear that Woods will not easily regain his place as one of the planet's most ubiquitous pitchmen and a cultural hero." Ordeals like Tiger's are "social drama," characterized by "breach, crisis, redressive action, and reintegration," writes Orin Starn, an anthropology prof and recreational golfer.

Having raced through breach, crisis, and an attempt at redressive action—that lame website apology—he comes to reintegration, where everyone loves him again. But it's not a given, and nowadays, "redressive action seems to work only if one is willing to squirm and suffer a bit in front of the cameras," Starn writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer. A teary Barbara Walters news conference may do the trick. Or maybe Tiger could relax his "icy and almost selfish" demeanor and "slap the hand of a little boy or smile to the crowd."

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