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The purpose of this paper is to investigate the processes that influence the evolution of a modern sport. It focusses on the case of international skateboarding: the sport…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the processes that influence the evolution of a modern sport. It focusses on the case of international skateboarding: the sport that was recently included into the Olympic Games.
An inductive research strategy was informed by the notions of evolution of modern sport, prolympism and new institutionalism. The primary data were collected through a series of interviews and supplemented by the analysis of documents, press and social media.
The paper analysed how the organisation of international skateboarding has changed to date and identified three major determinants of its evolution: values of the activity, commercial interests and the Olympic movement. The following recurring discussion themes emerged: the link between commercialism and legitimisation of sport; bureaucratisation under the Olympic movement; and tensions between prolympism and values of skateboarding.
A limitation of the case study method is that any conclusions refer to this particular sport and their applicability to other sports lies within analytical generalisation. Still sport governing bodies and policy makers can learn from the evolution of international skateboarding and analyse potential issues and consequences for other emerging sports. In terms of theoretical implications, the study highlights legitimisation as one the key characteristics of evolution of modern sport, which should be considered along with previously established criteria, such as bureaucratisation, commercialisation and professionalisation.
The study extends the existing research on evolution of modern sports by examining a very rich contemporary case of skateboarding, the internationally growing sport with unique organisational arrangements. It contributes to knowledge of the evolution towards legitimisation of emerging sports, but also towards sportification of popular culture and society.
Purpose – Using the example of the Dene Games competition, this chapter examines the connections between contemporary sports and the games of the Dene…
Purpose – Using the example of the Dene Games competition, this chapter examines the connections between contemporary sports and the games of the Dene (Athapaskan), a group of indigenous cultures inhabiting the subarctic regions of the Canadian Northwest Territories.
Design/methodology/approach – The chapter is based on participant-observation and individual interviews conducted during attendance at the Dene Games gatherings over the course of several years.
Findings – I argue that the indigenous Dene Games gathering, where traditional games are organised as a contemporary sports competition, opens a space for the reconstitution of indigenous physical activity practices. The tensions that occur when participation in indigenous games articulates to the practical logic of competitive sports, identify the Dene Games as a space of active cultural contestation.
Originality/value – The chapter examines the articulation of historically disparate social practises. It views the hysteretic effects of a pre-existing indigenous physical activity practice as a point of reference for resistance to the normative constraints emanating from the organisational modality of contemporary sports, without offering up an explanation that relies on voluntaristic assumptions of agency. It adopts this perspective in order to avoid grasping the indigenous practice as the operationalised object of its own intervention, a ‘museum piece’.