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Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe

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Philip Dine and Séan Crosson

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’.