The paper explores the relationship between globalization and the concept of cultural imperialism. In addition, the paper addresses the problem of assessing the significance of particular sports and forms of organization of sport in the relationship between the global culture and recipient cultures. The paper distinguishes between the reach or penetration of the global culture and the response of recipient communities. Material is drawn from a number of countries including Ireland, Australia, and those in the Caribbean to identify six distinct patterns of globalization. The paper explores the factors that affect the extent of penetration by the global culture and those factors that produce a passive, participative, or conflictual response by local cultures.
Barrie Houlihan is with the School of Social Sciences, Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2DE, UK.