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Sport and Democracy in the Ancient and Modern Worlds


  • Date Published: December 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107012691

£ 84.99

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About the Authors
  • This book explores the relationship between sport and democratization. Drawing on sociological and historical methodologies, it provides a framework for understanding how sport affects the level of egalitarianism in the society in which it is played. The author distinguishes between horizontal sport, which embodies and fosters egalitarian relations, and vertical sport, which embodies and fosters hierarchical relations. Christesen also differentiates between societies in which sport is played and watched on a mass scale and those in which it is an ancillary activity. Using ancient Greece and nineteenth-century Britain as case studies, Christesen analyzes how these variables interact and finds that horizontal mass sport has the capacity to both promote and inhibit democratization at a societal level. He concludes that horizontal mass sport tends to reinforce and extend democratization.

    • The only recent book-length study in English of the relationship between sport and democratization
    • Compares what is known about sport and democratization in the past to the current practice of sport in Europe and North America, providing insight into both the origins and present-day effects of sport in those areas
    • Advances the study of the relationship between sport and democratization by carefully differentiating between different kinds of sport, rather than treating sport as a monolithic phenomenon
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107012691
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus. 2 maps 7 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Key terms and concepts
    3. Previous work positing a causal relationship between sport and democratization
    4. Congruence between society and sport
    5. Sport as a school for democracy
    6. Sport as an impediment to democratization
    7. Studying the cumulative effect of horizontal mass sport on democratization
    8. Sport and society in early iron-age Greece
    9. Sport and society in sixth- and fifth-century BCE Greece
    10. Sport and democratization in sixth- and fifth-century BCE Greece
    11. Sport and society in Britain from 1800 to 1840
    12. Sport and society in Britain from 1840 to 1870
    13. A quick trip to the continent: sport in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany
    14. Sport and society in Britain from 1870 to 1900
    15. Sport and democratization in nineteenth-century Britain
    16. Mass sport in the United States
    17. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Paul Christesen, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
    Paul Christesen is Associate Professor of Classics at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Olympic Victor Lists and Ancient Greek History (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and the co-editor (with Donald Kyle) of the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Sport and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity (forthcoming).

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