The Burden of Over-representation artfully explores three curious racial moments in sport: Jackie Robinson’s expletive at a Dodgers spring training game; the transformation of a formality into an event at the end of the 1995 rugby World Cup in South Africa; and a spectral moment at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Grant Farred examines the connotations at play in these moments through the lenses of race, politics, memory, inheritance and conciliation, deploying a surprising cast of figures in Western thought, ranging from Jacques Derrida and Friedrich Nietzsche to Judith Butler, William Shakespeare, and Jesus-the-Christ. Farred makes connection and creates meaning through the forces at play and the representational burdens of team, country and race.
Farred considers Robinson’s profane comments at black Dodgers fans, a post-match exchange of “thank yous” on the rugby pitch between white South African captain François Pienaar and Nelson Mandela, and being “haunted” by the ghost of Derrida on the occasion of the first FIFA World Cup on African soil. In doing so, The Burden of Over-representation provides a passionate, insightful analysis of the social, political, racial, and cultural consequences of conciliation at key sporting events.
Is sport good for kids? When answering this question, both critics and advocates of youth sports tend to fixate on matters of health, whether condemning contact sports for their concussion risk or prescribing athletics as a cure for the childhood obesity epidemic. Child’s Play presents a more nuanced examination of the issue, considering not only the physical impacts of youth athletics, but its psychological and social ramifications as well.
The eleven original scholarly essays in this collection provide a probing look into how sports—in community athletic leagues, in schools, and even on television—play a major role in how young people view themselves, shape their identities, and imagine their place in society. Rather than focusing exclusively on self-proclaimed jocks, the book considers how the culture of sports affects a wide variety of children and young people, including those who opt out of athletics. Not only does Child’s Play examine disparities across lines of race, class, and gender, it also offers detailed examinations of how various minority populations, from transgender youth to Muslim immigrant girls, have participated in youth sports.
Taken together, these essays offer a wide range of approaches to understanding the sociology of youth sports, including data-driven analyses that examine national trends, as well as ethnographic research that gives a voice to individual kids. Child’s Play thus presents a comprehensive and compelling analysis of how, for better and for worse, the culture of sports is integral to the development of young people—and with them, the future of our society.
A comprehensive history of skiing from its earliest origins to the outbreak of World War II, this book traces the transformation of what for centuries remained an exclusively utilitarian practice into the exhilarating modern sport we know today. E. John B. Allen places particular emphasis on the impact of culture on the development of skiing, from the influence of Norwegian nationalism to the role of the military in countries as far removed as Austria, India, and Japan. Although the focus is on Europe, Allen's analysis ranges all over the snow-covered world, from Algeria to China to Zakopane. He also discusses the participation of women and children in what for much of its history remained a male-dominated sport.
Of all the individuals who contributed to the modernization of skiing before World War II, Allen identifies three who were especially influential: Fridtjof Nansen of Norway, whose explorations on skis paradoxically inspired the idea of skiing as sport; Arnold Lunn of England, whose invention of downhill skiing and the slalom were foundations of the sport's globalization; and Hannes Schneider, whose teachings introduced both speed and safety into the sport.
Underscoring the extent to which ancient ways persisted despite modernization, the book ends with the Russo-Finnish War, a conflict in which the Finns, using equipment that would have been familiar a thousand years before, were able to maneuver in snow that had brought the mechanized Soviet army to a halt.
More than fifty images not only illustrate this rich history but provide further opportunity for analysis of its cultural significance.
The Cold War was fought in every corner of society, including in the sport and entertainment industries. Recognizing the importance of culture in the battle for hearts and minds, the United States, like the Soviet Union, attempted to win the favor of citizens in nonaligned states through the soft power of sport. Athletes became de facto ambassadors of US interests, their wins and losses serving as emblems of broader efforts to shield American culture—both at home and abroad—against communism.
In Defending the American Way of Life, leading sport historians present new perspectives on high-profile issues in this era of sport history alongside research drawn from previously untapped archival sources to highlight the ways that sports influenced and were influenced by Cold War politics. Surveying the significance of sports in Cold War America through lenses of race, gender, diplomacy, cultural infiltration, anti-communist hysteria, doping, state intervention, and more, this collection illustrates how this conflict remains relevant to US sporting institutions, organizations, and ideologies today.
In his persuasive study The Eternal Present of Sport, Daniel Grano rethinks the sport-religion relationship by positioning sport as a source of theological trouble. Focusing on bodies, time, movement, and memory, he demonstrates how negative theology can be practically and theoretically useful as a critique of elite televised sport.
Grano asserts that it is precisely through sport’s highest religious ideals that controversies are taking shape and constituting points of political and social rupture. He examines issues of transcendence, “legacy”—e.g., “greatest ever,” or “all-time”—and “witnessing” through instant replay, which undermine institutional authority. Grano also reflects on elite athletes representing especially powerful embodiments of religious and social conflict, including around issues related to gender, sexuality, ability doping, traumatic brain injury, and institutional greed.
Elite sport is in a period of profound crisis. It is through the ideals Grano analyzes that we can imagine a radically alternative future for elite sport.
The quest for physical health and fitness has a long history in the United States. From spinach to shredded wheat to patent medicines, from calisthenics to bicycling to organized sports, Americans have searched vigorously and with great imagination for health, vitality, and physical perfection. Focusing on the period from 1830 to 1940, this collection of essays by six distinguished historians explores Americans' fascination with health and sport, a preoccupation that continues even today in the current diet and fitness craze. In his introduction, Harvey Green discusses one of the major ironies of this period: that the "progress" and achievements Americans sought in the economic and technological spheres were in fact endangering their health and weakening the entire body politic. The rapid technological changes taking place in the world forced many people to alter fundamentally their thinking about the importance of health and physical fitness not just for themselves as individuals but also for the good of society. Other topics explored include changing attitudes toward fitness and wellness, how advertising reflected health concerns, iron as a symbol of vitality and strength, the increasing specialization of foods, and the advent of organized and competitive sports.
The degradation of modern sport--its commercialization, trivialization, widespread cheating, cult of athletic stars and celebrities, and manipulation by the media--has led to calls for its transformation. William J. Morgan constructs a critical theory of sport that shores up the weak arguments of past attempts and points a way forward to making sport more humane, compelling, and substantive. Drawing on the work of social theorists, Morgan challenges scholars and fans alike to explore new spaces in sport culture and imagine the rich cultural and political possibilities to be found in the pastimes we follow with such passion.
Sport dominates television and the mass media. Politics and business are a-bustle with sports metaphors. Endorsements by athletes sell us products. "Home run," "slam dunk," and the rest of the vocabulary of sport color daily conversation. Even in times of crisis and emergency, the media reports the scores and highlights.
Marky Dyreson delves into how our obsession with sport came into being with a close look at coverage of the Olympic Games between 1896 and 1912. How people reported and consumed information on the Olympics offers insight into how sport entered the heart of American culture as part of an impetus for social reform. Political leaders came to believe in the power of sport to revitalize the "republican experiment." Sport could instill a new sense of national identity that would forge a new sense of community and a healthy political order while at the same time linking America's intellectual and power elite with the experiences of the masses.
The 1936 Olympic Games played a key role in the development of both Hitler’s Third Reich and international sporting competition. The Nazi Olympics gathers essays by modern scholars from prominent participating countries and lays out the issues--sporting as well as political--surrounding the involvement of individual nations.
The volume opens with an analysis of Germany’s preparations for the Games and the attempts by the Nazi regime to allay the international concerns about Hitler’s racist ideals and expansionist ambitions. Essays follow on the United States, Great Britain, and France--top-tier Olympian nations with misgivings about participation--as well as Germany's future Axis partners Italy and Japan. Other contributions examine the issues involved for Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Throughout, the authors reveal the high political stakes surrounding the Games and how the Nazi Olympics distilled critical geopolitical issues of the time into a spectacle of sport.
In just a few decades, sport has undergone a radical gender transformation. However, Cheryl Cooky and Michael A. Messner suggest that the progress toward gender equity in sports is far from complete. The continuing barriers to full and equal participation for young people, the far lower pay for most elite-level women athletes, and the continuing dearth of fair and equal media coverage all underline how much still has yet to change before we see gender equality in sports.
The chapters in No Slam Dunk show that is this not simply a story of an “unfinished revolution.” Rather, they contend, it is simplistic optimism to assume that we are currently nearing the conclusion of a story of linear progress that ends with a certain future of equality and justice. This book provides important theoretical and empirical insights into the contemporary world of sports to help explain the unevenness of social change and how, despite significant progress, gender equality in sports has been “No Slam Dunk.”
Americans have revered prowess in sports going back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Nancy L. Struna explores the significance, meaning, and structure of competitive matches and displays of physical prowess for both men and women in colonial culture. Engrossingly written for the general reader as well as sport and leisure historians, People of Prowess is a pioneering work that explores a rarely examined area of colonial history and society.
While previous writing on the philosophy of sport has tended to see sport as a kind of testing ground for philosophical theories devised to deal with other kinds of problems—of ethics, aesthetics, or logical categorization—here Steven Connor offers a new philosophical understanding of sport in its own terms. In order to define what sport essentially is and means, Connor presents a complete grammar of sport, isolating and describing its essential elements, including the characteristic spaces of sport, the nature of sporting time, the importance of sporting objects like bats and balls, the methods of movement in sport, the role of rules and chance, and what it really means to cheat and to win.
Defined as games that involve bodily exertion and exhaustion, sports simultaneously require constraint and the ability to overcome it. Sport, argues Connor, is a fundamental feature of modern humans. It is shown to be one of the most powerful ways in which we negotiate the relationship between the human and natural worlds. Encompassing a huge range of different sports, and enlisting the help of Hegel, Freud, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Adorno, Sartre, Ayer, Deleuze, and Serres, A Philosophy of Sport will inform, surprise, and delight thoughtful athletes and sporty philosophers alike.
In a wide-ranging study of unusual interest, Paul Weiss, Sterling Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, applies the principles and methods of philosophy to athletics. Every culture, he notes, has games of some kind; few activities seem to interest both children and young men as much as sports do; and few attract so many spectators, rich and poor. Yet none of the great philosophers, claiming to take all knowledge and being as their province, have made more than a passing reference to sport, in part, Professor Weiss suggests, because they thought that what pleased the vulgar was not worth sustained study by the leisured.
This seminal book breaks new ground and explores new paths: psychological and sociological forms of human behavior exhibited in games; the physiology of athletics, and the efforts of training and conditioning; and the motivation of athletics— the rhythm and aims of contests and games, and the meaning of team play. More importantly, however, Professor Weiss’ s unique contributions lie in his discussions of the distinct contributions that sport makes to civilization.
Professor Weiss discusses at length such topics as the Olympic Games and men and women as amateur and professional athletes— and their sacrifices, defeats, and humiliations. And he delineates the stages the athlete must go through in his progress toward self-completion.
Sport and Christianity explores the connections between these two seemingly disparate phenomena. It reflects on what the fascination for sport reveals about the human person and to what degree sporting activities are compatible with, and can even advance, the church's mission.
Topics are as far-ranging and current as the use of steroids, training for competition,
athlete's heart, exercise physiology, physical activity and sport for females, women's
health, physical culture and quackery, diet, and more.
What is the purpose of sport, and how are ethical conceptions of sport shaped by the answers to this question? In Sport and Moral Conflict, William Morgan investigates, examining sport as a moral crucible that puts athletes in competitive, emotionally charged situations where fairness and equality are contested alongside accomplishment.
Morgan looks at the modern Olympics—from 1906 Athens to 1924 Paris, when the Games reached international prestige — in order to highlight the debate about athletic excellence and the amateur-professional divide. Whereas the Americans emphasized winning, the Europeans valued a love of the game. Morgan argues that the existing moral theories of sport—formalism and broad internalism (aka interpretivism), which rely on rules and general principles—fall short when confronted with such a dispute as the transition from amateur to professional sport. As such, he develops a theory of conventionalism, in which the norms at work in athletic communities determine how players should ethically acquit themselves. Presenting his case for an ethical theory of sport, Morgan provides insights regarding the moral controversies and crises that persist today.
Offering new approaches to thinking about sports and political ideologies, Sport and Neoliberalism explores the structures, formations, and mechanics of neoliberalism. The editors and contributors to this original and timely volume examine the intersection of sport as a national pastime and also an engine for urban policy—e.g., stadium building—as well as a powerful force for influencing our understanding of the relationship between culture, politics, and identity.
Sport and Neoliberalism examines the ways the neoliberal project creates priorities for civic society and how, in effect, it turns many aspects of sport into a vehicle of public governance. From the relationship between sport and the neo-liberal state, through the environmental dimensions of neo-liberal sport, to the political biopolitics of obesity, the essays in this volume explore the ways in which the “logics” of neoliberalism are manifest as powerful public pedagogies through the realm of popular culture.
Contributors include: Michael Atkinson, Ted Butryn, C. L. Cole, Norman Denzin, Grant Farred, Jessica Francombe, Caroline Fusco, Michael D. Giardina, Mick Green, Leslie Heywood, Samantha King, Lisa McDermott, Mary G. McDonald, Toby Miller, Mark Montgomery, Joshua I. Newman, Jay Scherer, Kimberly S. Schimmel, and Brian Wilson
Sport and Political Ideology
By John M. Hoberman University of Texas Press, 1984 Library of Congress GV706.8.H62 1984 | Dewey Decimal 796.01
Across the modern political spectrum, left-wing and right-wing political theorists have invested sport with ideological significance. That significance, however, varies distinctively and characteristically with the ideology—a phenomenon John Hoberman terms "ideological differentiation." Taking this phenomenon as its point of departure, this provocative work interprets the major sport ideologies of the twentieth century as distinct expressions of political doctrine. Hoberman argues that a political ideology's interpretation of sport is shaped in part by the value it assigns to work and play as modes of experience; the political anthropologies of right and left can be distinguished by examining their resistance to—or affinity for—sportive imagery of their leaders and of the state itself; there exists a fascist temperament that shows an affinity to athleticism and the sphere of the body that is not shared by the left. Tracing modern sport ideology back to its premodern antecedents, Hoberman examines the interpretations of sport that have been promulgated by European political intellectuals, such as cultural conservatives and contemporary neo-Marxists, and by the official ideologists of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic, and China before and after Mao. As a form of mass theater, sport can advertise any ideology. But the deeper relationship between sport and political ideology has never before been explored wth such vigor. Presenting the first general theory of sport and political ideology to appear in any language, Hoberman's groundbreaking work is a unique and invaluable contribution to the intellectual and political history of sport in the twentieth century.
This new collection examines not only how athletes looked to the nation’s judicial system to solve conflicts but also how their cases trans¬formed the interpretation of laws. These essays examine a vast array of social and legal controversies including Heywood v. NBA (1971), which allowed any player to enter the draft; Flood v. Kuhn (1972), which considered baseball’s antitrust status; the Danny Gardella lower level 1948 case regarding free agency and baseball; Muhammad Ali’s celebrated stance against the U.S. draft; Renée Richards’s 1976 lawsuit against the U.S. Tennis Association and its due process ramifications; and human rights violations in international law with respect to the increased recruitment of underage Latin baseball players in the Caribbean region are a few examples of the vast array of stories included. Sport and the Law links these cases to other cases and topics, giving the reader the opportunity to see the threads weaving law and sport together in American society.
College students are now regarded as consumers, not students, and nowhere is the growth and exploitation of the university more obvious than in the realm of college sports, where the evidence is in the stadiums built with corporate money, and the crowded sporting events sponsored by large conglomerates.
The contributors to Sport and the Neoliberal University examine how intercollegiate athletics became a contested terrain of public/private interests. They look at college sports from economic, social, legal, and cultural perspectives to cut through popular mythologies regarding intercollegiate athletics and to advocate for increased clarity about what is going on at a variety of campuses with regard to athletics. Focusing on current issues, including the NCAA, Title IX, recruitment of high school athletes, and the Penn State scandal, among others, Sport and the Neoliberal University shows the different ways institutions, individuals, and corporations are interacting with university athletics in ways that are profoundly shaped by neoliberal ideologies.
No aspect of Cuban life more clearly epitomizes their government's emphasis on image-building and individual participation than the system of physical culture and competitive athletics. Indeed the Cuban record in international athletics is the most universally recognized success of the communist revolution, as indicated by the Cuban arrival in the 1972 Olympics and the 1991 Pan-American Games, when Cuba beat the United States in the gold medal tally, dominating boxing, baseball, and winning the marathon. The fruits of the Cuban sports system were again in evidence at the Barcelona Olympics of 1992, despite the severe deprivation caused by the collapse of the island's socialist allies.
In spite of the obvious success and political importance of sport in Cuba, very little has been written on the subject. Sport in Cuba closes this gap. In the first major study on the Cuban system of sports and physical culture, Paula J. Pettvino and Geralyn Pye analyze how sports was given such a high priority in Cuba, how the country became a world power by the mid-1970s, and the impact of sports on Cuban society. Moving from the early days when the government's approach to sports was loosely defined, through the construction of a complex system of physical culture, to the current years of uncertainty, Sport in Cuba utilizes both archival sources and personal interviews. It will be of interest to Latin Americanists and students of sports.
Sports played a vital role in the social and cultural life of the former Soviet Union.
The Soviet state sponsored countless programs to promote sporting activities, even constructing a new term, fizkultura, to describe sports culture.
With Sport in the USSR, Mike O’Mahony asserts that the popular image of fizkultura was as dependent on its presentation as it was on its actual practice. Images of vigorous Soviet sportsmen and women were constantly evoked in literature, film, and folk songs; they frequently appeared on the badges and medals of various work associations and even on plates and teapots. Several major artists, in fact, made their careers out of vivid representations of sports.
O’Mahony further examines the role that fizkultura played in the formulation of the novyi chelovek, or Soviet New Person, arguing that these images of the sporting life not only promoted the existence of this national being but also articulated the process of transformation that could bring him or her into existence. Fizkultura, O’Mahony claims,became a civic duty alongside state labor drives and military service.
Sport in the USSR is a fascinating addition to current debates in the fields of sociology, popular culture, and Russian history.
The moving body—pervasively occupied by fitness activities, intense training and dieting regimes, recreational practices, and high-profile sporting mega-events—holds a vital function in contemporary society. As the body moves—as it performs, sweats, runs, and jumps—it sets in motion an intricate web of scientific rationalities, spatial arrangements, corporate imperatives, and identity politics (i.e. politics of gender, race, social class, etc.). It represents vitality in its productive and physiological capacities, it drives a complex economy of experiences and products, and it is a meaningful site of cultural identities and politics.
Contributors to Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body work from a simple premise: as it moves, the material body matters. Adding to the burgeoning fields of sport studies and body studies, the works featured here draw upon the traditions of feminist theory, posthumanism, actor network theory, and new materialism to reposition the physical, moving body as crucial to the cultural, political, environmental, and economic systems that it constitutes and within which is constituted. Once assembled, the book presents a study of bodies in motion—made to move in contexts where technique, performance, speed, strength, and vitality not only define the conduct therein, but provide the very reason for the body’s being within those economies and environments. In so doing, the contributors look to how the body moving for and about rational systems of science, medicine, markets, and geopolity shapes the social and material world in important and unexpected ways.
In Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body, contributors explore the extent to which the body, when moving about both ostensibly active body spaces (i.e., the gymnasium, the ball field, exercise laboratory, the track or running trail, the beach, or the sport stadium) and those places less often connected to physical activity (i.e. the home, the street, the classroom, the automobile), is bounded to technologies of life and living; and to the political arrangements that seek to capitalize upon such frames of biological vitality. To do so, the authors problematize the rise of active body science (i.e. kinesiology, sport and exercise sciences, performance biotechnology) and the effects these scientific interventions have on embodied, lived experience.
Contributors to Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body will be engaging a range of new and emerging theoretical perspectives, including new materialist, political ecology, developmental systems theory, and new material feminist approaches, to examine the actors and assemblages of movement-based material, political, and economic production. In so doing, contributors will vividly and powerfully illustrate the extent to which a focus on the fleshed body and its material conditions can bring forth new insights or ontological and epistemological innovation to the sociology of sport and physical activity. They will also explore the agency of the body as and amongst things. Such a performative materialist approach explicates how complex assemblages of sport and physical activity—bringing into association everything from muscle fibers and dietary proteins to stadium concrete or regional aquifers—are not only meaningful, but ecological.
By focusing on the confluence of agentive materialities, disciplinary technologies, vibrant assemblages, speculative realities, and vital performativities, Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body promises to offer a groundbreaking departure from representationalist tendencies and orthodoxies brought about by the cultural turn in sport and physical cultural studies. It brings the moving body and its physics back into focus: recentering moving flesh and bones as locus of social order, environmental change, and the global political economy.
In paperback for the first time, Randolph Feezell’s Sport, Play, and Ethical Reflection immediately tackles two big questions about sport: “What is it?” and “Why does it attract so many people?” Feezell argues that sports participation is best described as a form of human play, and the attraction for participants and viewers alike derives from both its aesthetic richness and narrative structure. He then claims that the way in which sports encourage serious competition in trivial pursuits is fundamentally absurd, and therefore participation requires a state of irony in the participants, where seriousness and playfulness are combined.
Feezell builds on these conclusions, addressing important ethical issues, arguing that sportsmanship should be seen as a kind of Aristotelian mean between the extremes of over- and under-investment in sport. Chapters on cheating, running up the score, and character building stress sport as a rule-governed, tradition-bound practice with standards of excellence and goods internal to the practice. With clear writing and numerous illuminating examples, Feezell demonstrates deep insight into both of his subjects.
In 1914 crew members of the lighthouse tender Hyacinth rescued a stray puppy from the Milwaukee River and named him Sport. For the next twelve years, this charming Newfoundland-retriever mix lived the life of a ship dog, helping the Hyacinth crew as they carried supplies to lighthouses and maintained the buoys and other safety features around Lake Michigan. Sport quickly became a valued companion to his crew and a recognizable mascot of the lake—making friends in every port.
In this beautifully illustrated children’s book based on historical documents and photographs, readers share in Sport’s adventures while discovering the various ways lighthouse tender ships helped keep the lake safe for others. Helpful diagrams, a map, and a historical note supplement this engaging story for young readers.
Incidents of doping in sports are common in news headlines, despite regulatory efforts. How did doping become a crisis? What does a doping violation actually entail? Who gets punished for breaking the rules of fair play? In Testing for Athlete Citizenship, Kathryn E. Henne, a former competitive athlete and an expert in the law and science of anti-doping regulations, examines the development of rules aimed at controlling performance enhancement in international sports.
As international and celebrated figures, athletes are powerful symbols, yet few spectators realize that a global regulatory network is in place in an attempt to ensure ideals of fair play. The athletes caught and punished for doping are not always the ones using performance-enhancing drugs to cheat. In the case of female athletes, violations of fair play can stem from their inherent biological traits. Combining historical and ethnographic approaches, Testing for Athlete Citizenship offers a compelling account of the origins and expansion of anti-doping regulation and gender-verification rules.
Drawing on research conducted in Australasia, Europe, and North America, Henne provides a detailed account of how race, gender, class, and postcolonial formations of power shape these ideas and regulatory practices. Testing for Athlete Citizenship makes a convincing case to rethink the power of regulation in sports and how it separates athletes as a distinct class of citizens subject to a unique set of rules because of their physical attributes and abilities.
The Unlevel Playing Field offers a rich compendium of more than 100 primary sources that chart the intertwining history of African Americans and sport. Introductions and head-notes provided by David K. Wiggins and Patrick B. Miller place each document in context, shaping an unrivaled narrative.
Readers will find dozens of accounts by Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, James Weldon Johnson, Richard Wright, A. S. “Doc” Young, Eldredge Cleaver, Nikki Giovanni, John Edgar Wideman, bell hooks, James Baldwin, Roy Wilkins, Henry Louis Gates, Gerald Early, and many others.
The documents range from discussions of the color line in organized baseball during the Jim Crow era and portraits of turn-of-the-century figures like the champion sprint cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor and boxer Jack Johnson. Writers also look at modern-day issues like the participation of black athletes in the 1968 Olympics, the place of African American women in sport, and examine pioneering figures like Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Althea Gibson, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Venus and Serena Williams.