Saturday, December 11, 2010

Marxist Theories of Sport: Nation, Commerce and Pleasure

By Susan Ferguson
New Socialist
17 October 2010

Marxism and the Left have long insisted that sport attributes and values do not occur in a vacuum. Rather, sport happens inside socio-political and economic power structures. These are entwined with patriarchal, homo-normative, racist and imperialist ways of life. Because you cannot separate sport and games from this context, the ideology of fairness and merit that supposedly governs sport is not - in fact cannot be - as it appears to be.

There is nothing fair, for instance, about a game that excludes or demeans women and queers; nor is merit the first word that comes to mind watching pro-sports that reward brutality over skill. Rather, sport under capitalism - and the values associated with it - serve narrow interests that ultimately divide and oppress people.

Despite the rhetoric, it's winning at all costs and self-sacrifice that really count, as these (not merit, fair play and self-discipline) are the values that pump up the profits in professional sports, reputations in the amateur field, and endorsement contracts in both.

Read more HERE.

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