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More than Cricket and Football - International Sport and the Challenge of Celebrity

More than Cricket and Football

International Sport and the Challenge of Celebrity

Edited by Joel Nathan Rosen & Maureen M. Smith
Foreword by Roberta J. Park
Afterword by Jack Lule
Hardcover : 9781496809889, 348 pages, 2 b&w illustrations, December 2016

A passport to the many nations, sports stars, and sports across the globe

Description

Contributions by Lisa Doris Alexander, Sean Bell, Benn L. Bongang, Joel S. Franks, Silvana Vilodre Goellner, Annette R. Hofmann, Dong Jinxia, Cláudia Samuel Kessler, Jack Lule, Li Luyang, Mark Panek, Robert J. Park, Gamage Harsha Perera, Joel Nathan Rosen, Viral Shah, Maureen M. Smith, Nancy E. Spencer, Dominic Standish, Tim B. Swartz, Dan Travis, Theresa Walton-Fisette, and Zhong Yijing

Given the presumed dominance of American sport, many fans throughout the hemisphere find it difficult to envision the role of sport beyond the confines of their own continent. And yet, world sport consists of so much more than the games Americans play and so much more than the stereotype of cricket for the elite and football for the working class. As worldwide sport continues to gain in popularity, we also see parallels to many aspects visible in North American sport, particularly celebrity and all its trappings and pitfalls.

The success of athletes from other countries in basketball and ice hockey, and the proliferation of stars imported and now exported to and from North America, provides some better examples of sport’s international power. It also creates a very new kind of sport celebrity, albeit one that often shows a rather limited reach beyond that star’s own country or continent. Thus, rather than focusing on the Western Hemisphere, this collection of some of world sport’s most heralded celebrities (including stars of Motocross, surfing, distance running, and more) serves as a sort of passport to many places that make up our global sporting environment.

Reviews

"In this important work by Rosen and Smith, the stories of athletes whose lives and legacies often elude attention by some and are held close to the heart and live on in memory by others are rendered by a cadre of accomplished sport scholars. In a world that grows more complex by the day, this collection offers an entrée into discussions regarding globalization, nationhood, and culture through the lives of athletes renowned in their homelands and sport communities. If sport is more than a game, the lives of athletes are more than their accomplishments on the field, intimately tied as they are to local and world politics and social forces that influence them and that they, in turn, influence. "

- Ellen J. Staurowsky, EdD, professor of sport management at Drexel University

"More than Cricket and Football tackles contemporary preoccupations with sporting celebrities head-on. Present-day demands that professional athletes perform as role models for wider society are subjected to scholarly scrutiny. Over a dozen cogent case studies explore key twentieth-century individuals who came to represent something larger than themselves, especially off the field of play. Each contributor demonstrates their love of sport and scholarly erudition in equal measure. Building on the biographical, the reception of various sports stars in differing international and global contexts is also subject to a thorough investigation, making this volume essential reading. "

- Graham Barnfield, senior lecturer in journalism at the University of East London