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Gaming the World

Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture

ANDREI S. MARKOVITS
LARS RENSMANN
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: STU - Student edition
Pages: 368
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7rj60
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  • Book Info
    Gaming the World
    Book Description:

    Professional sports today have truly become a global force, a common language that anyone, regardless of their nationality, can understand. Yet sports also remain distinctly local, with regional teams and the fiercely loyal local fans that follow them. This book examines the twenty-first-century phenomenon of global sports, in which professional teams and their players have become agents of globalization while at the same time fostering deep-seated and antagonistic local allegiances and spawning new forms of cultural conflict and prejudice.

    Andrei Markovits and Lars Rensmann take readers into the exciting global sports scene, showing how soccer, football, baseball, basketball, and hockey have given rise to a collective identity among millions of predominantly male fans in the United States, Europe, and around the rest of the world. They trace how these global--and globalizing--sports emerged from local pastimes in America, Britain, and Canada over the course of the twentieth century, and how regionalism continues to exert its divisive influence in new and potentially explosive ways. Markovits and Rensmann explore the complex interplay between the global and the local in sports today, demonstrating how sports have opened new avenues for dialogue and shared interest internationally even as they reinforce old antagonisms and create new ones.

    Gaming the Worldreveals the pervasive influence of sports on our daily lives, making all of us citizens of an increasingly cosmopolitan world while affirming our local, regional, and national identities.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3466-2
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION: GOING GLOBAL-SPORTS, POLITICS, AND INENTITIES
    (pp. 1-42)

    Sports matter. They hold a singular position among leisure time activities and have an unparalleled impact on the everyday lives of billions of people.¹ We show how, why, and for whom this has been the case for well over a century on both sides of the Atlantic. Analyzing the continuities and changes that have characterized sports cultures in the United States and Europe, we find complex processes involving global transformations alongside persistent local and national factors.

    This book poses the following questions: How has a continuing process that we call “postindustrialization” and “second globalization” transformed sports? More specifically, How have...

  5. Chapter 2 THE EMERGENCE OF GLOBAL ARENAS: MAPPING THE GLOBALIZATION OF SPORTS CULTURES BETWEEN COSMOPOLITANISM, NATIONALISM, AND LOCALISM
    (pp. 43-106)

    In this chapter we will examine the evolution and transitions of hegemonic sports cultures from the nineteenth to the end of the twentieth century. Our story will feature the key cultural characteristics that this process engendered at two stages of global dissemination: the first coincides roughly with the industrial era of the latter two decades of the nineteenth century; the second we place approximately one hundred years later and identify with what has commonly been called the “postindustrial” epoch. While soccer, arguablythesingle most prominent and ubiquitous sports language in the world, is our special focus, we compare its...

  6. Chapter 3 THE TRANSATLANTIC TRANSFER OF SPORTS AND THEIR CULTURES: INSTITUTIONALIZATION AND DIFFUSION
    (pp. 107-156)

    We now explore how the second globalization of sports cultures affects today’s transnational political cultures and identities. We first look at soccer’s development in the United States and argue that the sport’s presence has indeed undergone a significant transformation over the past three decades, without its becoming part of America’s hegemonic sports culture at the time of this writing. Rather, we argue, soccer in America has reached a stage of what we call “Olympianization.” The game’s big events—the World Cup, the European National Championships, the year-long Champions League matches, and stateside visits by the best European Superclubs such as...

  7. Chapter 4 A SILENT “FEMINIZATION” OF GLOBAL SPORTS CULTURES? WOMEN AS SOCCER PLAYERS IN EUROPE AND AMERICA
    (pp. 157-206)

    We are well aware that the conventional term ‘feminization” of a profession not only entails the increased presence of women in it but the concomitant departure of men from it, thus often leading to its diminished prestige and status. In the case of all sports, the growing entrance and participation of women since the early 1970s is nothing short of revolutionary. Women’s boxing, for example, became a medal sport at the 2012 Olympics, with wrestling, present at the Olympics since 2004, having attained the status of a veritable old-timer. We doubt, however, that this development has led to a diminution...

  8. Chapter 5 A COUNTER-COSMOPOLITAN BACKLASH? THE POLITICS OF EXCLUSION, RACISM, AND VIOLENCE IN EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN SPORTS CULTURES
    (pp. 207-270)

    Alas, just like in most realms of human activity, so too in sports does tolerance of diversity and inclusiveness meet with resistance by forces that could best be characterized by what Kwame Anthony Appiah has so aptly termed, “counter-cosmopolitanism.”¹ Newcomers, challengers, immigrants, and “alien” languages are often met with ridicule, as well as harsh, hostile, even violent reactions by the natives. Since cultural changes always imply some threat to existing identities, they are inevitably fraught with tensions and defensive responses. Nowhere is this clearer than in the world of sports, since adversity, opposition, competition, contest and thus conflict are the...

  9. Chapter 6 THE LIMITS OF GLOBALIZATION: LOCAL IDENTITY AND COLLEGE SPORTS’ UNIQUELY AMERICAN SYMBIOSIS OF ACADEMICS AND ATHLETICS
    (pp. 271-315)

    Much of this book centers on comparisons between Europe and the United States as, arguably, the most important players in the two globalization eras that comprise the framework of our study. America and Europe are quite similar to each other, yet also different.¹ One difference pertains to a historical phenomenon that has puzzled so many European observers of America: why the United States constitutes the only advanced industrial democracy with no large-scale socialist and/or social democratic and/or communist parties and movements co-defining its politics, society, economy, and culture from the onset of industrialization. As Werner Sombart asks, Why there is...

  10. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 316-326)

    In his singularly impressive and important work, Jared Diamond demonstrates more convincingly than anybody in our opinion why Europe “won,” or put differently, why it was this relatively small archipelago, appended to a huge Asian landmass thumbing into the Atlantic Ocean, that created the preconditions and the fundamentals for a system of society, governance, warfare, economy, and culture that was to conquer the rest of the world.¹ Best known under the term “capitalism,” the search for and analysis of its origins and nature gave rise to virtually every discipline of what we have come to know as the social sciences....

  11. List of Acronyms
    (pp. 327-330)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 331-345)