chapter  1
2 Pages

Introduction

ByGwang Ok, Kyongho Park

Sport is probably the most globally distributed cultural phenomena created by humankind. As Dutch historian Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) remarked, the culture of humankind started from plays and physical activities, which are an important element of culture. During man’s evolution, sport has influenced diverse sociocultural elements to the extent that it can be said that sport began alongside the history of humankind and continues to reflect its different ideologies. For example, gymnastics, which dominated nineteenthcentury Europe, was a kind of social movement to integrate the whole nation from the perspective of statism, and the Muscular Christianity movement, which controlled the physical ideals of nineteenth-century British public schools, was an educational movement aimed at reinforcing the ideology of imperialism. In examining the characteristics of each sport, rowing was a tool to strengthen people’s solidarity, cricket symbolised the morality of the gentleman class’ and tennis signified the privileges of nobility.1 Indeed, sport is an ideological mirror reflecting social phenomena beyond mere physical activities. The sociocultural ideologies of the given era were behind the development of specific sports,

and an analysis of these may provide an index to estimate the sociocultural functions performed by sport during the relevant times.