Sociology of Sport Journal, 1994,11,356-375 O 1994 Human Kinetics Publishers. Inc.
Homogenization, Americanization, and Creolization of Sport: Varieties of Globalization Barsie Houlihan Staffordshire University
The paper explores the relationship between globalization and the concept of cultural imperialism. In addition, the paper addresses the problem of assessing the significance of particular sports and forms of organization of sport in the relationship between the global culture and recipient cultures. The paper distinguishes between the reach or penetration of the global culture and the response of recipient communities. Material is drawnfrom a number of countries including Ireland, Australia, and those in the Caribbean to identify six distinct patterns of globalization. The paper explores the factors that affect the extent of penetration by the global culture and those factors that produce a passive, participative, or conflictual response by local cultures. Cette recherche porte sur la relation entre la globalisation et le concept d'impe'rialisme culture/. De plus, cette recherche touche au probl2me de l'tvaluation de /'importance de certains sports et formes d'organisation du sport au sein de la relation entre la culture globule et les cultures receveuses. Une distinction est faite entre la ptne'tration de la culture globule et la rtponnse des cornrnunaute'sreceveuses. A par fir de mate'riauxprovenant de plusieurs pays, y compris I'lrlande, I'Australie et les pays des Caraitbes, six patrons de globalisation sont identgits. Les facteurs qui affectent le degre' de pe'ne'tration de la culture globale ainsi que les facteurs qui rdsultent en rtponses passives, participatives ou conflictuelles de la part des cultures locales sont e'galement examine's.
It can be argued that a worldwide organizational infrastructure for sport has existed for some time and that, superficially at least, this has facilitated the development of a global sporting culture. Key features of the global sports infrastructure include, first, the emergence of unified international sports federations as the arbiters of the rules of individual sports and as the agents of sports development. Increasingly, it is the internationalfederations that coordinate policy regarding broadcasting fees and antidoping through liaison with other global sports bodies such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Governments have also developed an international framework for discussing sports issues, most fully developed in Europe through the European Union and the Council of Europe. Second, there are now a number of firmly established global sports events, either
Barrie Houlihan is with the School of Social Sciences, Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2DE, UK.
Varieties of Globalization
single-sport world championships and professional circuits, or major multisport events such as the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games, organized by both governments and the global sports bodies. Finally, the infrastructure of globalization is completed by the rapid development of a major international sports goods industry and the enthusiastic embracing by sport of the media and of television in particular. Sponsors can feel confident that when the World Cup final or one of the blue riband Olympic events is being broadcast something approaching a quarter of the world's adult population will be watching. However, being able to point out the major features of a global organizational infrastructure for sport is a long way from being able to claim that sport is part of a process of cultural globalization, for although there has been much discussion of the attributes and nature of globalization in relation to sport, progress toward a consensus about the nature and significance of the process has been slow. In order to assess the utility of the concept for the study...
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