chapter  3
17 Pages

Stadium as public sphere

ByMatthew Guschwan

Public space strengthens a democratic polity by providing a forum for dissenting views.2 This volume is an investigation into what citizenship is and how individuals may assert citizenship in and through sport. This essay asks where citizenship might take place in sport. While citizenship takes place through voting and performing other civic functions, there remains the question ofwhere and how ‘the people’might interact and decide how to live their lives in common. Ifweare to understand citizenship as a statusof inclusion that entails a right to participate in democratic governance, then we are talking about an intensely social phenomenon. Democratic citizenship requires multiple forms and sustained forums of interaction with others. Democracy requires mechanisms to settle disputes and carve out compromises, if not consensus. Democracy requires spaces not just for elected representatives to make law, but also for the public to listen, to learn and to express their concerns with and to strangers. The construction and management of spaces where democratic citizenship would occur are, in themselves, issuesof commonconcern.These spaces are the subject of discussion, argument, adaptation, corruption and adjustment over time and place.