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Gamed by the System

Exploring Black Male Youths’ Motivation to Participate in Sports

Deborwah Faulk, Robert A. Bennett III and James L. Moore III

Previous research contributes to our knowledge about young people’s motivation to participate in sports and athletic programs. In particular, scholarship has identified significant others (such as parents and peers) and internal drivers (for example, physical ability and skill, the desire to succeed, love of competition, etc.) as some of the forces that shape the involvement of young men in sports. The role of institutions and structures in influencing the decisions of young males to join sports, however, is neglected to some extent in the current literature. Given the history of race and gender marginalization relative to sports in the US, distinguishing an additional layer that influences motivations are important. Young black males face additional social pressures in society and in schools, in particular. In this article we suggest that schools use sports to control the behaviors and aid the character development of young black men.

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Sports Diplomacy and Emergent Nationalism

Football Links between the Two Yemens, 1970-1990

Thomas B. Stevenson and Abdul Karim Alaug

In the 1970s and 1980s, North and South Yemen appeared to be two states pursuing opposing, sometimes hostile, economic and political policies. Then, in 1990, they suddenly united. This article analyses sport diplomacy as an instrument in opening institutional contacts between the two governments and as a venue for conveying important socio-political and historical messages. Cross-border football contests reinforced the largely invented notion of a single Yemen derived from pre-Islamic kingdoms. This idea remains a foundation of Yemeni nationalism and a base of Yemeni national identity.

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Where going back is a step forward

The re-traditionalising of sport games in post-Soviet Buriatiia

Stefan Krist

After a brief description of how Soviet policy influenced and changed the centuries-old traditional Buriat sports holiday called Surkharban, this paper discusses the changes that this festivity has been undergoing since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Under Soviet rule, this annual holiday, earlier linked to religious rituals, became secularised. Party and State propaganda infiltrated the event in a variety of ways and international rules were adopted for the games. The last 15 years have seen a reversal of this process, leading to a stormy re-traditionalisation of the holiday in general and of the games in particular. However, this did not occur in a uniform manner and is still far from being completed. On the contrary, the author has been observing a wide spectrum of local variants and new changes every year. He analyses the ways in which Buriat sports games are performed and how these public events mirror the manifold socioeconomic and political developments in post-Soviet Buriatiia.

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Pueri Sunt Pueri

Machismo, Chivalry, and the Aggressive Pastimes of the Medieval Male Youth

Sean McGlynn

This article draws on research into medieval childhood to argue that the violence of male youth activities was not simply a result of their age and hormones—“boys will be boys”—but was positively encouraged by society and the state as training for their potential roles in conflicts, for war was all pervasive and all important. The violent games and pastimes of male youths are discussed in light of their relevance to war, as they progress into sports that served as military training. The focus here is on the chivalric tournament, the apogee of such entertainments and a form of medieval war games within a violent sports spectacle. A primary intention of such training was to foster combat primary group cohesion among the male youths preparing to engage in war with its codes of chivalry.

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Vasiliki P. Neofotistos

Using the Republic of North Macedonia as a case study, this article analyzes the processes through which national sports teams’ losing performance acquires a broad social and political significance. I explore claims to sporting victory as a direct product of political forces in countries located at the bottom of the global hierarchy that participate in a wider system of coercive rule, frequently referred to as empire. I also analyze how public celebrations of claimed sporting victories are intertwined with nation-building efforts, especially toward the global legitimization of a particular version of national history and heritage. The North Macedonia case provides a fruitful lens through which we can better understand unfolding sociopolitical developments, whereby imaginings of the global interlock with local interests and needs, in the Balkans and beyond.

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Martin H. Geyer

Sports have always been used to promote the nation state and the invention of national traditions with national symbols such as flags and national hymns playing an important role. This article looks at the peculiar situation of the post-war period when two Germanys established themselves also in the field of sports, yet cooperated in some athletic disciplines, and, most important of all, at the Olympic Games until 1968. This raised a great number of delicate political questions, particularly the politics of the nonrecognition of the GDR which strove hard to establish itself internationally by way of the international sports movement. Konrad Adenauer and the German Sports Organization clashed on this issue which brought to the fore the question of a German and an emerging West-German identity. In order to describe this negotiation of the nation state in the realm of sports, this article tries to make fruitful use of the term postnationalism in order to understand the ambiguities of identity of Germans towards their nation state. It also takes a brief look at the Olympic Games of 1972, which epitomizes more than anything else the peculiar postnationalism of the Federal Republic.

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R.W. (Bob) Reising

Anderson, Ryan K. 2015. Frank Merriwell and the Fiction of All-American Boyhood: The Progressive Era Creation of the Schoolboy Sports Story. Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press. 310 pp. ISBN 978-1-55728-682-6 (pb)

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"The Right Sort of Woman"

British Women Travel Writers and Sports

Precious McKenzie Stearns

The big game hunt contributed to the morale of the British Empire, as this sport was seen as the battle between men and nature. If Englishmen (and women) could triumph over animals, this demonstrated English superiority over inferior creatures. Florence Dixie and Isabel Savory proved that the overseas Empire allowed women to have greater access to hunting - and to grander displays of hunting prowess - than was allowed in England. Savory and Dixie, women who proved competent in the hunt, encouraged Victorian society to reevaluate their assumptions of womanhood. Their travel writing provided evidence to the Victorian reading public that women could effectively participate in the hunt, without sacrificing their femininity and denigrating the sport.

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Udo Merkel

The 2002 Soccer World Cup in Japan took place during the final

phase of the national election campaign for the German Bundestag

and managed to temporarily unite Chancellor Gerhard Schröder

(SPD) and his conservative challenger, Edmund Stoiber1. Both were

keen to demonstrate repeatedly that they were so interested in the

progress of the German team that they simultaneously interrupted or

left meetings to follow televised matches. Domestically, they support

very different soccer clubs. Stoiber is on the board of directors of the

richest German club, Bayern Munich, whose past successes, wealth

and arrogance, numerous scandals, and boardroom policies of hireand-

fire have divided the German soccer nation: they either hate or

adore the team. Schröder is a keen fan and honorary member of

Borussia Dortmund, which is closely associated with the industrial

working class in the Ruhr area. It is the only team on par with

Munich; despite its wealth, the management policies of the club

appear modest and considerate; the club continuously celebrates its

proletarian traditions and emphasizes its obligations to the local

community. Stoiber’s election manifesto did not even mention sport,

whereas the SPD’s political agenda for sport focused upon a wide

variety of issues ranging from welfare, leisure, physical education,

and health to doping, television coverage, facilities, and hosting

international events.

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Jean-François Loudcher

From 1945 to 1947, and then again from 1953 to 1977, Jean Minjoz served as mayor of Besançon and set up a “system” of government that allowed him to maintain power while insuring the development of the city. What was that system and how did it develop? By examining the sports politics of the city, this article reveals how the municipal sports commission and the city council worked out a subtle balance between amateur sports and the promotion of professional soccer. The political, professional, and athletic implications of this approach led representatives of the big clubs as well as the local councillors to support a basic minimum level of sports infrastructure, which in turn enabled the mayor to realize his own agenda for the city's social development program and to assure him the vote of his electorate. This politics of compromise can be categorized as republican elitist.