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Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe

Dine, Philip / Crosson, Seán (eds)

Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe

Series: Cultural Identity Studies - Volume 19

Year of Publication: 2010

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2010. XXII, 369 pp., num. coloured and b/w ill., tables and graphs
ISBN 978-3-03911-977-6 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.600 kg, 1.323 lbs

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Book synopsis

Sport annually mobilizes millions of people across Europe: as practitioners in a wide variety of competitive, educational, or recreational contexts, and as spectators, who are physically present or following events through the mass media. This book presents original research into modern sport funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Its aim is to examine the distinctive contribution made by this complex phenomenon to the construction of European identities. Attention is focused on sport’s social significance, as a set of mass-mediated practices and spectacles giving rise to a network of images, symbols, and discourses. The book seeks to explore, and ultimately to explain, the processes of representation and mediation involved in the sporting construction, and subsequent renegotiation, of local, national, and, increasingly, global identities. It offers a survey of key developments in sporting Europe – from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, and from the Atlantic to the Urals – presenting findings by acknowledged international experts and emerging scholars at the level of individuals, communities, regions, nation-states, and Europe as a whole, in both its geographical and political incarnations. Its focus on representation offers a broadly conceived, and consciously inclusive, approach to issues of ‘Europeanness’ in modern and contemporary sport.


Contents: Paddy Agnew: Foreword. Football and Evolving National Identity – Philip Dine/Seán Crosson: Introduction. Exploring European Sporting Identities: History, Theory, Methodology – Sébastien Darbon: An Anthropological Approach to the Diffusion of Sports: From European Models to Global Diversity – Borja García: The Governance of European Sport – Eleni Theodoraki: Expressions of National Identity through Impact Assessments of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games – Jeffrey Hill: ‘I Like to Have a Go at the Swanks’: Alf Tupper and English Society, 1945-1990 – Paul Dietschy: From ‘Sports Arditism’ to Consensus-Building: The Ambivalences of the Italian Sporting Press under Fascism – Álvaro Rodríguez Díaz: Spain’s Social Values through Film: Films about Sports – David Scott: Boxing and Masculine Identity – Cathal Kilcline: California Dreaming: Surfing Culture in Mediterranean France – Marcus Free: Antihero as National Icon? The Contrariness of Roy Keane as Fantasy Embodiment of the ‘New Ireland’ – Alan Bairner: Representing the North: Reflections on the Life Stories of Northern Ireland’s Catholic Footballers – Gyozo Molnar: Rediscovering Hungarian-ness: The Case of Elite Hungarian Footballers – Dilwyn Porter: Cornwall and Rugby Union: Sport and Identity in a Place Apart – Arnd Krüger: Sport and Identity in Germany since Reunification – James Riordan: Sport and Politics in Russia and the Former Soviet Union – John Bale: Europeans Writing the African ‘Olympian’.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Philip Dine is Senior Lecturer in French at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has published widely on representations of the French colonial empire, including particularly decolonization, in fields ranging from children’s literature to professional sport. Other published research includes a history of French rugby football, as part of a broader reflection on leisure and popular culture in France. The present volume is one of the outcomes of a thematic project on sport and identity in France and Europe for which he acted as coordinator and which was funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2006-2009).
Seán Crosson is Programme Director of the MA in Film Studies in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He teaches courses in the Huston School on Irish film, documentary, world cinema, and cinema and Vietnam. He has published widely on various aspects of Irish studies, from film to literature, and his current research concerns the representation of sport in film, from the silent to the contemporary period, the subject of several recent and forthcoming publications.


«The editors are to be congratulated on managing such an ambitious project; and on bringing it to fruition via a collection of essays which (...) challenge lazy thinking as to the nature of nationalism and national identity. Taken together, these commentaries shrewdly interpret sport as a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional manifestation of how contemporary Europe differs so profoundly from the new status quo that emerged only two decades ago.» (Adrian Smith, The International Journal of the History of Sport, March 2012)


Cultural Identity Studies. Vol. 19
Edited by Helen Chambers