Attention is given to a series of conceptual issues associated with understanding global sport development. Several weaknesses are identified. The figurational approach to the study of sportization and globalization is then outlined. Associations between sport, habitus, identity politics, “willful nostalgia,” and globalization are examined, and a case study of nostalgia and male sporting and political disaster discourse in the British media over the past 2 years is used to highlight some of the issues involved in global sport development.
Richard Elliott and Joseph Maguire
The global migrations of athletic workers have increased dramatically in magnitude, composition, and direction in recent years. Studies examining these migrations have, however, remained limited to specific areas and have restricted their vision to those workers employed in the athletic sector. Few studies have drawn on concepts derived from research tracing the migrations of workers in other areas: the highly skilled for example. This paper shows how an understanding of athletic labor migration could be extended by drawing on research from the area of highly skilled labor migration. The paper also proposes a potential framework for future research in this area.
Mark Falcous and Joseph Maguire
This article addresses the global migration of sports labor. The contested presence of North American players in English basketball, first documented by Maguire (1988), is considered in the context of questions regarding the reception of migrants in local cultures. A 2-year ethnographic project incorporating participant observations, interviews, and focus groups investigated fans’ consumption of local basketball. Complex and nuanced interpretations of migrant players were evident. These were informed by local identities and civic pride, cultural stereotypes, and local experiences of spectating. Thus, the presence of migrant athletes is viewed specifically through the local lens—responses were shaped by the varying roles and interpretations of consuming basketball in the lives of local residents. Such observations reinforce the need for empirically grounded case studies to explore local consumption in light of the wider political–economic patterning of global sport.
Joseph Maguire and Louise Mansfield
This paper seeks to synthesize aspects of feminism and figurational (process) sociology. Women’s bodies are viewed as sites for studying interrelationships between power, gender, and identity construction. The behavioral and emotional rituals of women in a specific aerobics class are mapped out and located within the “exercise–body beautiful complex.” We explore the way in which social constraints and individual self-control interweave in the rationalized management of women’s bodies. The embodied experiences of these women are intertwined with long term enabling and constraining features. Covertly disempowering, the “exercise–body beautiful complex” reinforces established standards of femininity. The realignment of dominant images of femininity is advocated in order to extend the liberating features of the figuration in question.
Joseph Maguire, Jack Black and Becky Darlington
Debates regarding the Olympic Flame Relay oscillate between questions concerning the symbolic value of the Relay and the commodified nature of the Games more generally. While some argue for the potential intercultural understanding that the Flame Relay fosters, others point to the extent to which Olympism is embedded within the practices of commercial companies. Research thus tends to use either ethnographic accounts or media analysis—the former being seen by some as authentic and the latter viewed as capable of capturing the commodified context of such consumption. Attention is given here to its visit to one town and how people experienced the Relay themselves, against its (re)construction in local and national mediated accounts. Data were collected from interviews with those watching the Flame Relay, extensive photographic records, fieldwork observations, and local media coverage of the event. The ritual itself appeared temporary, superficial and contoured by the major sponsors of the Relay. While the Flame had some local significance, claims made for its broader symbolic value appeared muted—people knew less about Olympism and were less moved by its symbolism.
Elizabeth C. J. Pike and Joseph A. Maguire
This paper provides a development from previous conceptual frameworks related to the risk/pain/injury nexus in sporting subcultures (Hughes & Coakley, 1991; Maguire & Roberts, 1998; Nixon, 1992; Young, 1991). To do this, we have developed a model of factors contributing to injury risk in sport. In outlining our framework we seek to trace the enabling and coercive social forces that combine to act upon athletes and consequently promote participation to the extent of risking injury. This paper is grounded in a two-year study of female rowers in the United Kingdom. Several dimensions of sporting activities are mapped out, including the physical and structural settings, or “stage” upon which the sport takes place; preparation and participation in the sport itself; and the athletes’ attitudes toward, and actions on, receiving an injury. The themes identified in the model are used to “make sense” of the substantive insights drawn from the rowers’ stories.
Joseph Maguire, Katie Butler, Sarah Barnard and Peter Golding
Drawing on work located within critical political economy and process sociology, this article uses content analysis to examine the types, frequency, and content of Olympic related advertising in the British press and television during the 2004 Athens Olympics. We assessed the degree to which The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsors incorporated themes derived from Olympism and the Celebrate Humanity program, as well as from consumer culture more broadly. Our findings suggest that relatively few advertisers incorporated themes relating to Olympism, and that those that did focused on “excellence,” which is arguably more indicative of the achievement sports ethic and consumerism than of Olympic ideals.