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Identification of “sport” and “sport system”

9It is in this area that the discussions were the most heated and that, despite certain rapprochements, the points of view remained the most opposed. Considered somewhat schematically, the question seems to boil down to two contradictory positions.

For historians (and in this case they all belong to the English research tradition), it is a matter of taking into account the fact that any definition of sport is not only doomed to failure (because it fluctuates too much over time and incapable of integrating multiple practices located “on the margins” and of indeterminate status), but still useless: it does not matter whether jogging or chess are or are not “sports” in order to analyze their historical dimensions, social, cultural, economic or political and to assess the characteristics of their possible dissemination. In this perspective, defended in particular by Richard Holt, Tony Collins or Matt Taylor, any activity that practitioners, amateurs or the institutions that represent them decide to name as 무료스포츠중계 can be described as sport.

The difficulty of resorting to an indisputable definition of sport is reinforced

According to Gavin Kitching, by the fact that we are working on concepts that are closely marked historically: it is not only the objects that we study that change, it is It is also the conceptual apparatus from which they are studied – which makes doubtful the classically established dichotomy between events (or practices) on the one hand, and theories (or concepts) on the other. For supporters of other disciplines – and especially for anthropologists – such a position is not without drawbacks: apart from the fact that it makes it more difficult to identify the specificities of what is spreading and to highlight any general trends in the diffusion process, it tends to grant the discourse of those concerned an ambiguous status; this discourse is of course to be taken seriously as study material, but it is up to the researcher to give it meaning – in other words, the researcher is not a simple spokesperson for the opinions expressed by his informants in insofar as its job is precisely to provide a coherent and acceptable interpretation of it. Between the impossibility of precisely defining the object on which the research relates and the risk of its dilution in a questionable methodological posture.

 Is there a middle way or an acceptable compromise?

 The researcher is not a simple spokesperson for the opinions expressed by his informants insofar as his job consists precisely in providing a coherent and acceptable interpretation of them. Between the impossibility of precisely defining the object on which the research relates and the risk of its dilution in a questionable methodological posture, is there a middle way or an acceptable compromise? The researcher is not a simple spokesperson for the opinions expressed by his informants insofar as his job consists precisely in providing a coherent and acceptable interpretation of them. Between the impossibility of precisely defining the object on which the research relates and the risk of its dilution in a questionable methodological posture, is there a middle way or an acceptable compromise?

Without pretending to resolve the question, it seems that the highlighting of the differences between “sports” (as specific practices having their origin, their history and their specific rules of the game) and “sports system” (as a conceptual framework and set of general constraints governing the different practices) could make it possible to remove certain ambiguities. Sports historians have clearly identified the remarkable phenomenon constituted, in nineteenth-century England, by the transformation of the system of traditional athletic games into a sporting system with radically different, and sometimes even opposing, characteristics.

Allen Guttmann was the first to come up with a list of.

What blurs the perspective a little is the fact that this emergence is consubstantial with that of the sports that could be called “first generation”: horse racing, cricket, rowing and golf (organized in the second half of the 18th century), then soccer or rugby (in the middle of the following century); however, the sports system has taken its autonomy and has gradually spread throughout the world without encountering any real opposition 

It can only be considered as an exception confirming the, accepting within it “second generation” sports born later in the form either of inventions (such as basketball or volleyball), or of transformations of practices having undergone a process of “sportization” , whether traditional (such as Indian polo, Afghan buzkashi, Japanese sumo or Brazilian capoeira) or more contemporary (so-called “Californian” sports and their many variations). While the success of the global distribution of each sport is never a foregone conclusion, everything happens as if the sports system had no difficulty in imposing itself as a universal reference standard.

To take just one example

The fairly general rejection by Indians of a specific sport, rugby, goes hand in hand with the acceptance of the conceptual framework and practical constraints of the sport system. By playing cricket with the passion that we know, the Indians can well imprint their mark and their style of play, they respect the requirements of the sports system (standardization of space and time, rules of the game, representative institutions and equality between participants).

If they did not do it (like the Trobrianders), they would be excluded from the system and could not face the other nations. With regard to cricket, Arjun Appadurai invoked what he calls a “hard cultural form”: “Hard cultural forms are those which are accompanied by a network of links between value, meaning and practice which are also difficult to break than to transform. Soft cultural forms, on the other hand, are the ones that make it relatively easy to separate practical performance from meaning and value, and thus enable relatively successful transformation at each level. Following this distinction, I would argue that cricket is a harsh cultural form that changes those socialized within it faster than it changes itself” [Appadurai, 2005: 144].

The remark is interesting from the perspective of the dissemination of a sport, cricket, which more than any other sport of English origin illustrated (and perhaps still illustrates) the very foundations of a dominant culture. But, as Jérôme Soldani points out, what then of the sports system? Isn’t it a “hard cultural form” par excellence?

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