Nationalism and Internationalism in Sport

  • R. Väyrynen


Sport is a social institution which reflects the realities of the society in which it is exercised. The organisation of sport is different in a segmented or polarised society when compared with a fairly unified and homogeneous society. There are a plethora of examples to show that the fragmentation of sports organisations according to class, ethnic or linguistic divisions is rooted in the underlying social and political polarisation of the society. Sports also have their own ideology which ideally stresses fair competition between amateurs on equal terms, but is in reality modified by underlying political and social interests. In a fragmented society sports become an instrument, wrapped in ideological arguments, by means of which various groups in the society try to promote their own goals and interests. From this point of view sports are a form of collective social competition, as well as competition between individuals and teams. This is a conflict perspective of the role of sports in society.


Olympic Game Competitive Sport Socialist Country Sport Organisation Team Game 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

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  • R. Väyrynen

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