Sport is a transcendental dimension of contemporary societies itself, and most importantly, a great arena to study socio-cultural aspects of societies partly due to its characteristic of being a "free zone". In this panel we appeal to participants to contribute with papers on both these dimensions.
Sports are a transcendental dimension of contemporary societies itself, and most importantly, a great arena to study socio-cultural aspects of societies partly due to its characteristic of being a "free zone" (Archetti, 2003), and a public arena where social dramas unfold (Archetti, 1984). Events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the FIFA World Cup reach the largest audiences around the world, moving not only economic, but political and social interests. At the same time, sports are historically an arena for hybridism, and cultural dialogues. From the "Trobriand Cricket" to the Brazilian "peladas", people change rules, and recreate sportive practices, adapting them to their conditions, aims, and cultural values. Sports also allows to construct social emotions, elements that are generally considered taboo for a given society. The deep structure of this drama represents the uncertain fate of humans in the modern contemporary world: merit is celebrated, as well as performance and competition among equals. This panel will debate all these dimensions, with special attention to some topics, as follows: gender, body, and emotions in sports; national and ethnic identities and their expression through sportive practices; sportive mega events; public policy; media and sports; sports industry and consumption; fans, "hinchadas", "hooligans", spectators, and other forms of public sportive audiences.