This sporting ‘life-world’

Mediating sport in Britain

Authored by: John Steel

The Routledge Companion to British Media History

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415537186
eBook ISBN: 9781315756202
Adobe ISBN: 9781317629474


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It has long been recognized that British sport has played a significant role in the historical maintenance of British cultural identity. In addition it has been deeply implicated in a complex pattern of contestation and transformation therein. Whether this recognition has been examined in relation to studies concerned with the history of sport, which have gained increasing prominence amongst historically centred studies of British society (Holt, 1989; Polley, 1998), or the relationship between sport, media and culture (Whannel, 2008; Boyle and Haynes, 2009; Kennedy and Hills, 2009; Horne et al., 2013), the mediation of sport and its relationship to the ‘fabric’ of British society has gained increasing attention amongst scholars in recent years. In acknowledging these interventions, this chapter will look to capture some of the myriad ways in which scholarship on the mediation of sport has reflected an increasing awareness that sport is an important site of continuity and contestation within British history, politics and identity and, for this reason, is worthy of serious study. Moreover, via an exploration of the way in which the mediation of sport has become a significant feature of the public sphere, this chapter asserts that many of the debates that scholarship on the media and sport have spawned are gaining in importance as sport becomes of even greater significance to contemporary life.

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