ABSTRACT

The cultural ubiquity, political prominence and economic significance of contemporary sport in global capitalist society present fertile terrain for its critical socio-cultural analysis. Whether it’s corporate and media dominated mega-events like the winter and summer Olympic Games, state programmes for nationbuilding and health promotion, or the cultural politics of ‘race’, gender, sexuality, age and disability, sport is so profoundly marked by relations of power that it lends itself to critique and deconstruction. Foremost in this critical scholarship are Marxist and Cultural Studies approaches. The key issues addressed from these perspectives concern not simply how we are to make sense of sport as a social phenomenon but, as importantly, how we might effect social changes that could challenge and undermine dominant relations of power. That is, these perspectives are defined in large part by their emphasis on the dialectic of interpretation and transformation of sporting cultures, institutions and practices.