Sport in the city: research issues IAN HEN RY AND CHRIS G R AT TO N
Although until relatively recently sport might have been described as a neglected topic in social analysis, the significance of sport in contemporary societies seems undeniable. In economic terms sport is estimated to represent 3 per cent of GDP in the OECD countries. In cultural terms more than two-thirds of the world’s population saw some part of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games via television (LIRC, 1998). In political terms sport has been employed as a policy tool by nation states, as for example in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and in the Olympic Games’ boycotts of the 1980s, or more recently in promoting the new or reviving nationalism of the post-communist Central and Eastern European states.