Sport Identity

Primarily what is a ‘sport’? It is commonly interpreted as a test of physical exertion and skill either individually or in a team effort. Yet again what are the values of sport beyond the superficial perceptions?

Sports provide a venue for symbolic competition. It is a hub of multicultural relationships, where individuals sharing the same passion and interests are unified. But what does it mean to be on a team or even a solo athlete? Sport creates a socially conditioned communal category that shares certain ideologies and social customs. The indirect downside of these events is the creation of an invisible barrier, where each sport segregates individuals either between non-active and active, or by sport played. This forms a sense of identity and in continuation a hierarchy by which people are governed.

On a domestic scale, identity is primarily represented by the development of reputation and the display of elite behavior in a sport. On an international level, these aspects vary. As Vlado Kotnik declares in his research, “National sport focuses substantially on national unity and identity, championing the dominant values, ideals, and resources of the nations in which they originate.” At this point nationalism the alter ego of national identification is the result of constant involvement in sport from people on an everyday basis. Sport having embedded itself so profoundly and successfully into today’s environment, speaks for itself introducing a new ‘language’ for medium of communication. This subsequently helps create a solid national and international relationship, expanding the world of sport and creating a novel community that goes beyond borders. So despite its minor disadvantages, does sport still contribute in the development of a greater world?

Resource: http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/faculty/duranti/reprints/03lang_cult.pdf

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