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The Theater of Sport

Robert Rinehart

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Book Review

Robert Rinehart

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Dropping Hierarchies: Toward the Study of a Contemporary Sporting Avant-Garde

Robert Rinehart

In this paper I propose the avant-garde as an as yet undeveloped metaphor for sport studies. I examine the sport-as-drama metaphor that is rampant in popular, personal, and scholarly discourse. I argue that the exclusive use of the sport-as-drama metaphor limits research avenues, recreates unexamined assumptions, and perpetuates scholarly hierarchy and privileging. I suggest that the use of a sport-as-avant-garde metaphor more aptly encompasses the material sport scholars study and that its use may serve to decenter the researcher, allowing her or him entry into dialogue with sport participants. Following this thesis, I demonstrate how the avant-garde may be used as a metaphor for the study of sport, using specific examples from the media.

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“Experiencing” Sport Management: The Use of Personal Narrative in Sport Management Studies

Robert E. Rinehart

According to Paton, sport management research went through several phases up to the 1990s: a praxis phase, based upon “administrative principles, usually developed by authorities in the field, and upon program planning in physical education”; a second more theory-based phase that continues to the present; and a third descriptive phase (Paton, 1987, p. 26). In most of this research, however, the use of methodological innovation in research and in reporting research has been relatively scarce (as in many of the subdisciplines in physical education/kinesiology). In the present article, I argue for the use of personal narrative and personal storytelling in sport management research methodology, which might result in the asking of different questions and in write-ups that could serve to invigorate sport management studies. This method of research answers different, interactionist-based questions for researchers delving into how sport management affects people and how sport managers interact with others. In other words, this method examines how lives are lived into existence, and it provides models for practitioners and scholars of sport management to model, discover, experience, and use.

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Making a Case for Sport as Avant-Garde

Robert E. Rinehart

The avant-garde has much to offer sport studies and many paths to explore for sport studies’ scholars. In this article, I makes a case for the use of the avant-garde as a metaphor for sport studies, sport scholars, and the public at large. To do this, I sketch out some of the foundational and pertinent characteristics of the avant-garde, provides exemplars from art, considers the similarities between sport and art (in terms of an avant-garde metaphor), and provides some exemplars from sport.

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BMX Spaces: Children’s Grass Roots’ Courses and Corporate-Sponsored Tracks

Robert Rinehart and Chris Grenfell

The relatively recent growth of so-called Extreme Sports has created an opportunity for scholars to examine sport, games, and play once again—but as the concepts are played out in emerging sport forms. In this ethnography of BMX bikers, we examine one group of youth within two different venues: the grass-roots, child-driven activity of setting up ramps, courses, and jumps locally, and the corporate, adult-driven activity where skateparks have become “safe zones” for children to practice their skills. Where does the grass-roots, pick-up, play activity of BMX [d]evolve into the for-profit multinational corporation business concern, and what are similarities and/or differences between BMX culture and other youth-oriented forms of sport? We attempt to understand BMX Sport as an emergent form of extreme sport and to unravel the complex connections between grass roots activity and for-profit, commodified activity, and what these activities mean to these participants.

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Introduction: Imagining Sociological Narratives

Jim Denison and Robert Rinehart

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Representations of Physical Prowess, the Body, and National Identity in Selected Bruce Lee Films

John Wong and Robert E. Rinehart