Sport and Democracy in the Ancient and Modern Worlds

Sport and Democracy in the Ancient and Modern Worlds

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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 more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 15 b/w illus. 2 maps 7 tables
  • 1139575031
  • 9781139575034

Review quote

Advance Praise: "In his brilliantly original new book, Dartmouth Professor Paul Christesen persuasively contends that horizontal mass sport promotes democratization at a societal level in modern liberal democracies -- but far from looking only at contemporary Europe, North America, and Australasia, he casts his comparativist net as far and as wide as ancient Greece, and Britain and Germany in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." -Paul Cartledge, Cambridge University "Christesen's broad and insightful study systematically examines whether ancient and modern sport are fundamentally the same or different, and how broad participation in sport assists the growth of democracy. Anyone interested in the social and political significance of ancient and modern sport should read this erudite but accessible book." -Donald G. Kyle, University of Texas at Arlingtonshow more

Table of contents

Preface; 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. more

About Paul Christesen

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).show more