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date: 16 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the role of sport in the construction of national identity. It focuses initially on sport as a cultural practice possessing the demonstrable capacity to generate events and experiences through which imagined communities are made real. The governments of nation-states or other political agencies might intervene directly in this process, using sport as a form of propaganda to achieve this effect. More often, however, the relationship between sport and national identity is reproduced in everyday life, flagged daily by the mass media as an expression of banal nationalism. Particular attention is given to the role of sports that are indigenous to particular nations and also to sports engaged in competitively between nations. These have contributed in different ways to the making of national identities.

Keywords: sport, national identity, nationalism, nation-states, indigenous sports, international sports

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