Sport and Identity in France

Practices, Locations, Representations

by Philip Dine (Author)
©2012 Monographs VII, 375 Pages
Series: Cultural Identity Studies, Volume 14


How does sport shape society? This book seeks to answer this question by examining the meaning of sport in French society and the construction of local, national and, increasingly, global identities through sport. It begins by reassessing modern sport’s emergence and consolidation in France in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and then traces developments from the Second World War to the present, reflecting on the current status and future role of French sport. Horse racing, cycling, tennis, adventure sports, rugby and football, as well as the role of the Olympic Games, are discussed. The author investigates the interaction of these mass and elite physical practices with a wide variety of sporting locations – spatial and temporal, concrete and imagined – and in a rich field of representations, including literature and the fine arts, the press, cinema, radio, television and digital media. Related concepts of sporting celebrity, stardom and heroism also inform the discussion, offering new contributions to this developing critical area.


VII, 375
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (February)
How does sport shape society Horse racing as elite tradition and mass entertainment meaning of sport in French society Horse racing, cycling, tennis, adventure sports, rugby and football, as well as the role of the Olympic Games
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2012. VIII, 375 pp.

Biographical notes

Philip Dine (Author)

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. This 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).


Title: Sport and Identity in France