The Making of Sporting Cultures presents an analysis of western sport by examining how the collective passions and feelings of people have contributed to the making of sport as a ‘way of life’. The popularity of sport is so pronounced in some cases that we speak of certain sports as ‘national pastimes’. Baseball in the United States, soccer in Britain and cricket in the Caribbean are among the relevant examples discussed.
Rather than regarding the historical development of sport as the outcome of passive spectator reception, this work is interested in how sporting cultures have been made and developed over time through the active engagement of its enthusiasts. This is to study the history of sport not only ‘from below’, but also ‘from within’, as a means to understanding the ‘deep relationship’ between sport and people within class contexts – the middle class as well as the working class. Contestation over the making of sport along axes of race, gender and class are discussed where relevant. A range of cultural writers and theorists are examined in regard to both how their writing can help us understand the making of sport and as to how sport might be located within an overall cultural context – in different places and times.
The book will appeal to students and academics within humanities disciplines such as cultural studies, history and sociology and to those in sport studies programmes interested in the historical, cultural and social aspects of sport.
This book was published as a special issue of Sport in Society.