Sport and Political Ideology

Authored by: Alan Bairner

Routledge Handbook of Sport and Politics

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138792548
eBook ISBN: 9781315761930
Adobe ISBN: 9781317646679


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As Hoberman (1984: 1) observed, ‘The idea that sport is somehow an intrinsically political phenomenon has never been explained. In fact, sport is less known for its political character than for its legendary effects.’ There is certainly no denying that ‘across the ideological, class, cultural, and sporting spectrum, there seems to be a consensus that sports are, at best, distractingly vapid’ (Hern, 2013: 9). Yet if we are to understand fully the intrinsic political character of sport, there is arguably no better place to begin than with the ideological spectrum to which Hern refers. This chapter outlines the trajectory of the concept of political ideology before offering an overview of the relationship between political ideologies and sport.

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