Blog of the Day
posted by David Rowe, Jul 24, 2014
The national government and its agencies tend uncritically to reproduce the mythology of universal Australian love of sport. David Rowe is head of a project in ethnically diverse Greater Western Sydney, exploring if it still can be assumed that sport plays a unifying role in this country.
As the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow gets up to full speed soon after the Socceroos have returned from the World Cup in Brazil, it is timely to consider what sport means to a nation such as contemporary Australia.
Sportspeople engaged in international competitions are regarded as actual and symbolic representatives of Australia, and sport itself a key – perhaps defining – national cultural institution. But sport and nation do not stand still, and their relationship changes with the various social and cultural tides, such as the globalisation of pastimes, the development of transnational cultures, and the movement of people and media across national borders.
The Australian Research Council Discovery Project currently in progress of which I am Chief Investigator, A Nation of ‘Good Sports’? Cultural Citizenship and Sport in Contemporary Australia, addresses sport’s role regarding ‘cultural citizenship’, which broadly refers to how forms of culture (ranging from high art to cricket) operate in ways that foster a sense of inclusion or exclusion among citizens.
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