81. Sport and Globalisation - International Platform on Sport and ...

81. Sport and Globalisation - International Platform on Sport and ...

81. Sport and Globalisation - International Platform on Sport and ...


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Modern sport is bound up in a global network of interdependency chains that<br />

are marked by global flows <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> uneven power relati<strong>on</strong>s. C<strong>on</strong>sider the c<strong>on</strong>sumpti<strong>on</strong> of<br />

sports events. People across the globe regularly view satellite broadcasts of English<br />

Premier League <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> European Champi<strong>on</strong>s League matches. In these games the best<br />

players drawn from Europe, South America <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Africa perform. The players use<br />

equipment – boots, balls, uniforms etc - that are designed in the West, financed by<br />

multinati<strong>on</strong>al corporati<strong>on</strong>s such as Adidas <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Nike <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>-stitched, in the case of<br />

soccer balls, in Asia using child labour. This equipment is then sold, at significant<br />

profit, to a mass market in the towns <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cities of North America <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Europe. Several<br />

transnati<strong>on</strong>al corporati<strong>on</strong>s are involved in the producti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>sumpti<strong>on</strong> phases of<br />

global soccer – some of whom both own the media companies <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> have, as in the case<br />

of Sky TV, shareholdings in the soccer clubs they screen as part of what sociologists<br />

term the ‘global media sport complex’.<br />

The global flows that pattern world sport have several dimensi<strong>on</strong>s. These<br />

include: the internati<strong>on</strong>al movement of people such as tourists, migrants, exiles <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

guest workers; the technology dimensi<strong>on</strong> is created by the flow between countries of<br />

the machinery <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> equipment produced by corporati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> government agencies; the<br />

ec<strong>on</strong>omic dimensi<strong>on</strong> centres <strong>on</strong> the rapid flow of m<strong>on</strong>ey <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> its equivalents around<br />

the world; the media dimensi<strong>on</strong> entails the flow of images <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> informati<strong>on</strong> between<br />

countries that is produced <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> distributed by newspapers, magazines, radio, film,<br />

televisi<strong>on</strong>, video, satellite, cable <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the world wide web; <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> finally, the ideological<br />

dimensi<strong>on</strong> is linked to the flow of values centrally associated with state or counter-<br />

state ideologies <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> movements. All five dimensi<strong>on</strong>s can be detected in late twentieth<br />

century sports development. Thus the global migrati<strong>on</strong> of sports pers<strong>on</strong>nel has been a<br />


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