By Dario Brentin & Laurence Cooley


Over the last thirty years, Eric Dunning’s (1999) claim that ‘sport matters’ (see also Bromberger 2012; Carrington 2012) has been widely accepted in social science scholarship. This development in scholarly debates fittingly reflects modern sport’s global interconnections and social effects in the economic, cultural and political realms, which have established it as a powerful facilitator, provider and resource for an ‘array of identities’ (Maguire et al. 2002, 143). It does, however, not imply that sport should be understood as a ‘quasi autonomous [social] institution’ or a ‘kind of self-sufficient […] subsystem’, but rather as a ‘constitutive element of everyday life and popular culture’ taking place ‘within a particular social and historical setting’ (Tomlinson 2005, xiv).


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