Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture

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Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture

by Andrei S. Markovits, Lars Rensmann

Princeton University Press | June 6, 2010 | Hardcover

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Professional sports today have truly become a global force, a common language that anyone, regardless of their nationality, can understand. Yet sports also remain distinctly local, with regional teams and the fiercely loyal local fans that follow them. This book examines the twenty-first-century phenomenon of global sports, in which professional teams and their players have become agents of globalization while at the same time fostering deep-seated and antagonistic local allegiances and spawning new forms of cultural conflict and prejudice.

Andrei Markovits and Lars Rensmann take readers into the exciting global sports scene, showing how soccer, football, baseball, basketball, and hockey have given rise to a collective identity among millions of predominantly male fans in the United States, Europe, and around the rest of the world. They trace how these global--and globalizing--sports emerged from local pastimes in America, Britain, and Canada over the course of the twentieth century, and how regionalism continues to exert its divisive influence in new and potentially explosive ways. Markovits and Rensmann explore the complex interplay between the global and the local in sports today, demonstrating how sports have opened new avenues for dialogue and shared interest internationally even as they reinforce old antagonisms and create new ones.

Gaming the World reveals the pervasive influence of sports on our daily lives, making all of us citizens of an increasingly cosmopolitan world while affirming our local, regional, and national identities.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 360 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: June 6, 2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 069113751X

ISBN - 13: 9780691137513

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– More About This Product –

Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture

Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture

by Andrei S. Markovits, Lars Rensmann

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 360 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: June 6, 2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 069113751X

ISBN - 13: 9780691137513

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix
Chapter 1: Introduction: Going Global--Sports, Politics, and Identities 1
Chapter 2: The Emergence of Global Arenas: Mapping the Globalization of Sports Cultures between Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism, and Localism 43
Chapter 3: The Transatlantic Transfer of Sports and their Cultures: Institutionalization and Diffusion 107
Chapter 4: A Silent "Feminization" of Global Sports Cultures? Women as Soccer Players in Europe and America 157
Chapter 5: A Counter-Cosmopolitan Backlash? The Politics of Exclusion, Racism, and Violence in European and American Sports Cultures 207
Chapter 6: The Limits of Globalization: Local Identity and College Sports'' Uniquely American Symbiosis of Academics and Athletics 271
Conclusion 316
List of Acronyms 327
Index 331

From the Publisher

Professional sports today have truly become a global force, a common language that anyone, regardless of their nationality, can understand. Yet sports also remain distinctly local, with regional teams and the fiercely loyal local fans that follow them. This book examines the twenty-first-century phenomenon of global sports, in which professional teams and their players have become agents of globalization while at the same time fostering deep-seated and antagonistic local allegiances and spawning new forms of cultural conflict and prejudice.

Andrei Markovits and Lars Rensmann take readers into the exciting global sports scene, showing how soccer, football, baseball, basketball, and hockey have given rise to a collective identity among millions of predominantly male fans in the United States, Europe, and around the rest of the world. They trace how these global--and globalizing--sports emerged from local pastimes in America, Britain, and Canada over the course of the twentieth century, and how regionalism continues to exert its divisive influence in new and potentially explosive ways. Markovits and Rensmann explore the complex interplay between the global and the local in sports today, demonstrating how sports have opened new avenues for dialogue and shared interest internationally even as they reinforce old antagonisms and create new ones.

Gaming the World reveals the pervasive influence of sports on our daily lives, making all of us citizens of an increasingly cosmopolitan world while affirming our local, regional, and national identities.

From the Jacket

"I am thrilled to have read this book because it discusses what I am most passionate about: sports and how their very existence, with soccer as a major contributor, have helped shape history on a global scale. As a player, fan, and ambassador of soccer, I am beyond pleased that the authors give my sport its due. Every soccer person, sports fan, and scholar of sports must read this book."--Brandi Chastain, Olympic gold and silver medalist, Women''s World Cup champion

"For those of us turning to the sports page of our daily paper first, here is the book we have been waiting for. Gaming the World offers an up-to-date analysis of the capitalist dreamscape of an important leisure industry. Transformed by globalization, exposed to local and national backlash, marked by American and European exceptionalisms, and rife with symbolic politics, Andrei Markovits and Lars Rensmann argue, we are what we play--contaminated cosmopolitans in a global civilization still tethered to our local and national roots. What fun!"--Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell University

"This is an exciting book full of stimulating observation and wondrous detail. It illustrates convincingly the central role of sports in our contemporary cultural complex, highlighting their globalizing and cosmopolitan potential but also their national and local reference. The authors bring home their many powerful arguments through a stunning range of evidence."--Modris Eksteins, University of Toronto

"This is a valuable, stimulating, and illuminating book that offers an ambitious, intellectually substantial, analytically sophisticated, and constantly thought-provoking consideration of an important subject. The authors convincingly link their analysis of sports to big questions about the contours, dynamics, and continuing inner tensions of modernity. They also make their subject come alive for the reader. You don''t need to be a sports fan to find this book engrossing and enlightening."--Jeff Weintraub, University of Pennsylvania

About the Author

Andrei S. Markovits is the Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan. His books include "Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America" and "Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism" (both Princeton). Lars Rensmann is DAAD Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan

Editorial Reviews

"T]he book merits attention for overdue insights into a brassy, invigorating, and value-shaping facet of contemporary life that too many intellectuals ignore at their peril--one the masses know well enough to take to heart and mind (''the wisdom of the crowd'')."--Arthur B. Shostak, European Legacy
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