Sport and Democracy in the Ancient and Modern Worlds
This book explores the relationship between sport and democratization. Drawing on sociological and historical methodologies, it provides a framework for understanding how sport affects the level of egalitarianism in the society in which it is played. The author distinguishes between horizontal sport, which embodies and fosters egalitarian relations, and vertical sport, which embodies and fosters hierarchical relations. Christesen also differentiates between societies in which sport is played and watched on a mass scale and those in which it is an ancillary activity. Using ancient Greece and nineteenth-century Britain as case studies, Christesen analyzes how these variables interact and finds that horizontal mass sport has the capacity to both promote and inhibit democratization at a societal level. He concludes that horizontal mass sport tends to reinforce and extend democratization.
• The only recent book-length study in English of the relationship between sport and democratization, this is likely to appeal to a wide audience interested in democratization, the social history of ancient Greece and Britain, and sports• Compares what is known about sport and democratization in the past to the current practice of sport in Europe and North America and thus provides insight into both the origins and present-day effects of sport in those areas• Advances the study of the relationship between sport and democratization by carefully differentiating between different kinds of sport, rather than treating sport as a monolithic phenomenon