World Sports: A Reference Handbook

World Sports: A Reference Handbook

World Sports: A Reference Handbook

World Sports: A Reference Handbook

Synopsis

"World Sports: A Reference Handbook" covers a wide variety of sports-related controversies, including ethical, political, technological, business, and social issues related to the phenomenon of sports. Many of the larger topics are covered from multiple angles, often providing both a global and American perspective. The work provides unique insights into the commonly addressed subject of sports, supplying information that most readers will find unfamiliar and thought-provoking.

Addressing forms of sports as diverse as American football, skateboarding, NASCAR auto racing, ultrarunning, and the disciplines of the Olympic Games, the title's topics are discussed in depth to illuminate the sport's specific issues and are backed with information from relevant sports organizations, biographies of important people, chronologies, and charts and graphs. The information within this handbook is based upon the latest academic research but presented in very accessible language, making it appropriate for high school and undergraduate students as well as general readers.

Excerpt

An Introduction to World Sports

“World sports” in the context of this book pertains to understanding those sports and those issues that are of global concern. Specifically, the aim of this book is to acquaint the reader with how sport came to be an internationally significant cultural practice and which issues remain important for sport administrators, athletes, and spectators to understand. Appreciating modern world sports requires a focus on the history of Western sport and its economic, political, technological, and sociological developments. While the author recognizes that this particular perspective leaves out many other valid perspectives in sport development, the Western world dominates “world sports” in terms of the values they reinforce, the forms they take, and the organizations that control them.

Chapter 1 provides a historical background to the issues presented in the remainder of the book. This chapter shows how sport has been aligned with cultural, religious, and violent practices since its earliest forms. Moving into the modern era, Chapter 1 discusses how competitive sport became the dominant form of sport, growing quickly by being associated with the values and aims of white, upper class people as well as the through the demands of the industrial revolution. In addition, this historical perspective frames how sport became more than a cultural activity and grew into a global business. Finally, this chapter takes a look at how sport has traditionally marginalized various groups based on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and social class. These perspectives show how the current issues in sport have grown out of a long history of sport being intricately integrated with cultural practices, economics, and dominant ideologies.

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