• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Why are sport stars central to celebrity culture? What are the implications of their fame? Proceeding from a broadly based discussion of heroism, fame and celebrity, Smart addresses a number of prominent modern sports and sport stars, including Michael Jordan (basketball), David Beckham (football), Tiger Woods (golf), Anna Kournikova and the Williams sisters (tennis). He analyses the development of modern sport in the UK and USA, demonstrating the key economic and cultural factors that have contributed to the popularity of sport stars, while examining issues such as race and gender, the impact of professionalization, growing media coverage, the role of agents and the increasing presence of commercial corporations providing sponsorship and endorsement contracts. This book situates the sport star as the embodiment of the various tensions of age, class, race, gender and culture. It argues that sporting figures possess an increasingly rare quality of authenticity that gives them the capacity to lift and inspire people. The book is a major contribution to the sociology and culture of sport and celebrity.

The Development of Modern Sport in Britain and America
The development of modern sport in britain and america
The Folk Roots of Popular Sport

Competitive playful activities or pastimes with characteristics comparable to what are now universally described as sport have a long and complex history. Social and historical analysts have noted how physically competitive and playful activities can be found in virtually all cultures throughout human history (Huizinga 1949; Mandell 1984). Thrilling, competitive, physically challenging and risky activities were a prominent feature of the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome and there is evidence of comparable activities in early Egyptian civilisation as well as in the ancient cultures of South Asia (Cashmore 2000). However, it is in Western Europe, especially Britain and to be more precise ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles