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
Tiger's Silver Bullet: Humanity
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)

(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.

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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."
(Read more Tiger Woods stories.)

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