Conclusion
the political potentiality of sport
Throughout this book I have focused on how productions of media sport
shape ideas around national belonging, identity, and community. As a pow-
erful commercial media context, media sport works to convey hegemonic
ideologies of nation, gender, sexuality, and race, and it o√ers an important
context for understanding how these ideologies travel across nation-states.
Media sport exists as a complex social arena, and in this conclusion, I suggest
that it can be an arena for progressive social change. Media sport can inspire
political action by o√ering people the powerful experience of participating in
collective action with a shared purpose. Though there is no necessary politi-
cal consequence of participation in a sporting public and no completely
unifying political purpose, sporting publics exist as realms of political pos-
sibility and potentiality. The experience of sporting publics can intensify
existing political sentiments and operate as a medium through which these
sentiments circulate. The relationship between sport and politics is often
linked in discussing sports’ fascist potential, but the following discussion
suggests a broader political potentiality of sport. It points to the potential of
sport to inspire democratic resistance to governmental power and to shape
alternative visions of national community.
Through my fieldwork, I witnessed how specific behaviors shaped through
participation during a sporting event were again expressed during significant
and large-scale political protests. Drawing from experiences of the publics of
the 2002 World Cup, progressive groups in South Korea demanding political
change at the level of governmental policies successfully initiated mass pro-
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