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Playing by the rules : sport, society, and the state

Author: John Wilson
Publisher: Detroit : Wayne State University Press, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Sport, while it has its origins in the love of play and the desire to be entertained and diverted, is a social institution with important political, economic, and social consequences. Playing by the Rules describes how the relation between sport and the state has developed over the last one hundred years, and how, largely by indirection and accident, a public policy with respect to sport has emerged. Apart from the  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: John Wilson
ISBN: 0814321070 9780814321072
OCLC Number: 28027633
Description: 429 pages ; 26 cm
Contents: 1. Playing by the Rules --
2. Can I Play? --
3. From Peons to Professionals --
4. Natural Monopolies --
5. Management and Labor --
6. Private Governments --
7. Big League Cities --
8. Sport and Citizenship --
9. Sport in the Wired City --
10. Sport and Social Reform --
11. Sport in the World System --
12. Policy by Default.
Responsibility: John Wilson.

Abstract:

Sport, while it has its origins in the love of play and the desire to be entertained and diverted, is a social institution with important political, economic, and social consequences. Playing by the Rules describes how the relation between sport and the state has developed over the last one hundred years, and how, largely by indirection and accident, a public policy with respect to sport has emerged. Apart from the debate as to whether sport and politics should mix in the first place, John Wilson considers the process whereby sport has become a public policy domain, just like energy, health, transportation and agriculture. He argues that while all modern societies have evolved both sports complexes and extensive states, Americans have developed their own unique kind of relationship. This relationship grants considerable freedom for commercialized sports to develop, at the expense of more state-administered forms. At the same time, this arrangement allows commercialized sports to benefit from state protection and guarantees, all in the interest of the public good - a system that is highly characteristic of public policy in liberal democratic societies, where individual freedom is a paramount value. Wilson traces the impact of liberal democratic politics through a number of discrete but related fields, from the struggle to secure equality of opportunity for all individuals to participate in sport, to the evolution of contractual freedom for professional athletes and the role played by unions in securing these freedoms. He then examines the impact of state actions, mainly judicial, on the structure of the sports industry, principally the impact of the state on the relation between firms or "franchises"--Ability to control players, entry into the league, movement of franchises, and relations with the mass media. Playing by the Rules also defines the relation between sport and the state more broadly. Assuming that the state is interested in nation-building to legitimate its practices, Wilson explores the role sport has played in this nation-building in the United States, the perceived relation between sport and citizenship, the part sport has been asked to play in the national task of assimilating immigrants, and the efforts the state has made to control and regulate sport in the interest of promoting national and citizenship values. Beyond that, Wilson addresses the impact on sport of the United States' participation in the emerging global order, the effect on amateur athletics of the state's need to protect national interests and secure defense in the United States, and the extent to which a global order of sport has emerged that now transcends national boundaries and weakens the control of the state over sport.

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