Sport and Social Change: The Transformation of Maoist Sport

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 University of Texas at Austin
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In the decade following the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the People’s Republic of China has experienced a cultural and ideological transformation unprecedented in the history of communist societies. Sport, like the arts, is a political subculture that expresses prevailing ideological trends; for this reason, the new modernization in China has mandated a new ideological interpretation of sport. Contrary to appearances, the ideological content of Maoist sport doctrine has actually been retained in post-Maoist sport ideology. What has changed is the relative degree of emphasis accorded specific ideological elements, so that these two doctrinal phases may be analyzed in terms of dominant and recessive traits. The four primary ideological variables examined in this study are competition, high-performance sport and record-setting, sportive ethics, and scientific sport.

This paper was presented at the 1985 NASSS meetings in Boston.

Direct all correspondence to John M. Hoberman, Department of Germanic Languages, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712.
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