An inclination to view games and sport as ephemeral, n-serious, and inconsequential has served to discourage the distinctive contribution that anthropology might make to the study of sport, as well as the rich insights that a fuller appreciation of sport might furnish to anthropology. This book brings a distinctively anthropological approach to the deep significance of sport and games in everyday life. Contributors examine individual and team sports and sporting practices, from football (ie, soccer) to gymnastics, to unusual but netheless highly developed indigeus games such as Amerindian archery in South America and kabaddi in India. Sports are shown to provide a particularly revealing window through which to examine such topics as nationalism, transnationalism, ethnicity, class relations, the body, health, identity, gender, schooling and child rearing. Contributors also address contemporary concerns with narrative, practice theory, celebrity, mass media and entertainment, tourism and the consumption of cultural commodities. This accessible book will be of interest to students and scholars in anthropology, cultural studies, geography, sociology and sport sciences, as well as to anyone seeking an international perspective on the cultural, political, and ecomic salience of contemporary sport.
Noel Dyck is Professor of Social Anthropology at Simon Fraser University