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Understanding the sport, globalisation and international communities

While trying to understand the global sport and communities around the world. The five key points need to be examined in the notion of global sport and in particular, the national, international or global and post-colonial contexts.

Nikhil Kanaujia
Last updated: 14.02.2021
Understanding the sport, globalisation and international communities

While trying to understand the global sport and communities around the world. The five key points need to be examined in the notion of global sport and in particular, the national, international or global and post-colonial contexts and debates about sport, culture and society. 

The first theme at the heart of this section is whether we should think of the world as one place or many and, consequently, one global sports product or process or many sports products or processes, including the national, international, local and global. The second important theme within this section is the issue of power and governance and who is or should be involved in influencing the world of sport today.

Sport and globalisation

When did global sport emerge and has it ended? The study of global sport should be examined from the point of view of the processes involved in the move towards some-thing called global sport. The characteristics of global sport have included the changing rates of migration of sports personnel; the transfer of sports finance on a global scale; the delivery of sport through the media on an international scale; the exchange of ideas about sport throughout the world; the emergence of transnational sports organisations and the extent to which sporting tastes and cultures have moved across national boundaries to be consumed in different corners of the earth. 

An understanding of globalisation is central to an understanding of the changing nature of contemporary sport, culture and society. While global sport has been documented and discussed at length, less has been said about sport and anti-globalisation. To what extent is sport part of the challenge to global sport? The coverage of global sport consists of these two core questions: what and when is global sport? and what contribution has sport made to the movement for radical or moderate anti-globalisation?

To make a more detailed understanding of Sport and Globalisation, We will come up soon with a series of articles and practical questions results.

Internationalism and sport in the making of nations

Has the emergence of global sport weakened national and international sport? Does sport have a role to play in developing national identity or is it a substitute for political nationalism? It has often been assumed that this latter has in fact been the case, and that the increasing influence of global sport has meant that national sport has been affected.

The increasing international or cosmopolitan nature of sport brought about by, for example, the migration of athletes across national boundaries has resulted from the realisation that the contemporary sports world is a smaller place, but also from the focus of sport having in part shifted from the national to the international and global arena. Perhaps it is more appropriate to talk of international sport and not global sport? Chapter 5 critically assesses the notion of global sport and rejects the idea that sport should simply be thought of in global or local terms. One of the major power players in sport today has been the media and, in particular, television and the changing rates of commercialisation associated with mediated sport.

Nothing awakens National feeling so easily and strongly as sporting success. Glorious history, royalty, a splendid army,democracy and the welfare system, ancient ideals and traditions, Volvo another great company – none of these things can measure up to sport in providing bonds of national solidarity or in creating collective consciousness of one’s country.

To make a more detailed understanding of Internationalism, reconciliation and sport in the making of nations, We will come up soon with a series of articles and practical surveys results.

Sport, media and television

Sporting spectacles dominate television in many parts of the world. The timing of major world sports events is influenced by peak viewing times for different countries around the world. Terms such as old and new media are now readily used in relation to their specific influence upon sports, culture and society. 

But what do the terms mean and what exactly is the scope of their influence? The media in many ways have colonised sport and, as a result, sport at various levels has become dependent upon media rules, but without completely losing its separate identity. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing sport today is the extent to which sport participates, obtains a stake within the media and is not simply the passive recipient of media politics and policy. Indeed, society needs to exercise oversight and control over the media system and its mode of communication, for the dangers of one-dimensional politics, society, football or any other sport are all too evident.

We will keep discussing in the future articles about Sports, Media and Television. 

Sports law and governance

Is there a crisis of confidence in global sport and what possibilities are there for adopting a more inclusive approach to corporate sporting governance? How can and should sport be regulated? Is sport above the law and to what extent should sporting governance be influenced by sport’s own court of arbitration? In relation to the debate about global sport the challenge facing the world of sport is whether such a notion can be sustained given (i) the influence of corruption which has influenced the development of international sport, (ii) that sporting governance occurs at so many different levels that it is rarely co-ordinated or seen to be committed to international justice or social reform and (iii) the power of European and American models of professional sport and the issue of whether non-Western forms of sport can modernise and become powerful players in the international arena while at the same time holding on to values, beliefs,traditions which are perhaps not governed by Western values.

To what extent the law can help to embrace those other communities will be discussed in detail in upcoming articles.

Other sporting communities

The extent to which Western sport, power and influence have been challenged and indeed viewed as part of the problem within many non-Western nations has raised a substantial postcolonial critique of sport, culture and society. 

If colonial sports history was the history of sports involvement within the imperial appropriation of the world, then post-colonial sports history must be concerned with certain peoples of the world appropriating sport for themselves. This chapter initially focuses upon the relationship between sport and post-colonialism by considering three questions; what, when and how is post-colonialism associated with sport? It is generally acknowledged within this chapter that historians and geographers have carried out much substantive work that has uncovered and re-interpreted the colonial influence upon sport. Post-colonial sport is not Third World sport. The disadvantages of the term ‘Third World’ have been well documented in terms of its hierarchical relation to other worlds. The International Amateur Athletics Federation has stated that its aim is to remove cultural and traditional barriers to participation in athletics, which may imply that indigenous practices and culture may be viewed as something that have to be removed in order that Western forms of athletics and sport might take their place (Bale and Cronin, 2003:55).

The post-colonial critique draws upon a broad range of areas as a basis of effective political intervention. If the role of the student or scholar is to uncover the contest, to challenge and defeat an imposed silence and the normalised quiet of unseen power, then post-colonial sport and the role of sport in humanitarian terms must have a much louder voice in the world today. At the very least the orthodoxy of global sport must be more progressive and humanitarian in terms of its governance and mode of Arbitration.

References: Sport, Culture and Society by Grant Jarvie

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