Drawing on Debates in Leisure and Sport Theory, Using Current Sport, Leisure and Culture Examples, Critically Discuss the Impact of Globalisation and Post Modernity

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Drawing on debates in leisure and sport theory, using current sport, leisure and culture examples, critically discuss the impact of Globalisation and Post Modernity.

Modern day football is one of the most popular pastimes across the globe. Billions of people watch and play it every year and can be a very important part of peoples lives. Fans can spend hundreds of pounds a year on travelling across countries and continents to watch their team play. Football is one of the most powerful cultures in the world, politically, economically and socially.

Globalisation is the set of processes, whereby – facilitated by enhanced global flows of such things as industry, investment, individuals and information (Ohmae, 1990). The world is becoming evermore economically and politically more integrated according to Baylis & Smith (2001). Berger & Huntington (2002) also believe the world is becoming a lot more culturally & ideationally more homogenized, or in other words, ‘borderless’. Scholte, (2001) even describes the world as a ‘single place’. Maguire, (1999) stated that there were three main characteristics of Globalisation; Economic – referring to the goods and services of world products and the world market, Social and Cultural – seen as the flow of cultural forms such as music and sport, the labour flow of workers around the world and the flow of ideas, ranging from political ideologies to sub-cultural norms, And Technological, which is the movement of equipment and media such as the internet.

Post-Modernity can be translated to be ‘beyond the now’. Post-modernity has been very hard to define as it embraces elements of philosophy, art and cultural mood. It is a reaction against modernism. “Modernism is an approach to life that humans can progress through the use of science, technology and rationality” (Coakley, 1998:30) Therefore, postmodernism can be described as a late 20th century style in the arts and criticism that represents a departure from modernism. Post-modernity implies that technologies have collapsed national boundaries and that we are more worldwide citizens. Because of these boundaries being broken, some writers believe that individuality is more important and that there is a wider range of tastes and cultural pastimes.

There are many opponents of post-modernism, which believe we still live in the same modern society. These people usually use the term ‘postmodernism’ to describe a cultural reaction within modern societies, e.g. a sense of disillusionment. ‘Post Modernists’ on the other hand, argue that we as a human race have entered a new era beyond modernity (Cheal, 1999). Therefore, Post-modernism is a set of theories suggesting that society is undergoing a series of radical changes which modernism is coming to an end, being rejected by people or even changing to into a new order (Harris, 1999). Many writers give many different views to how the world is changing and whether we are living in a post-modern world. Foucault believed that society was categorised and divided practices existed. This means that spatial and social control of individual’s leads to people being objectified and oppressed by those who do the objectifying (Markula and Pringle 2006). Foucault, (1977) also suggests that the truth is relative and gained through a societal process called ‘discourse’ – meaning for example, the nature of feminity has been a social discourse as the view of womens rights has massively changed around the world and shifted into creating a more equal life for women. This is the Transformalist idea that there is no single cause behind globalization of an idea but possibly many changes could contribute over time. This fundamentally differs from Gellner (1981) who suggests that there is a rejection of western culture and society and that, for example Islamic countries are not compatible with western economic traditions. Another key writer on the subject of Post Modernity is Baudrillard (1989), who...
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