The Radical Critique of Sport

Authored by: Lev Kreft

Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Sport

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415829809
eBook ISBN: 9780203466261
Adobe ISBN: 9781134119141


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In this overview, radical critique of sport is understood as critical theory of sport set in the framework of allegedly agonistic and tragic crisis of humanity, where sport has, if not the main, then an extremely important place among those pillars which support existing state of affairs. Four radical critique cases of different cultural, geopolitical, and philosophical origin were selected for examination: Ljubodrag Simonovi? (Serbia), Roman Vodeb (Slovenia), Jean-Marie Brohm (France) and Douglas Kellner (USA). Because of its connectedness with the 1960s, the most important aspects of the New Left legacy to radical criticism of sport (ideology, alienation, manipulation) are identified in all four cases; global media spectacle is presented as a universal target of radical criticism; and the curious attitude towards emancipation of body, gender and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) is exposed. From indebtedness of radical critique of sport to Marx and Marxism, appearance of the most quoted Marx’s metaphor “opium of people” is analyzed. The next, and final, presentation concerns a radical criticism of Olympism. In conclusion, some contradictions of the radical critique of sport are discussed.

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