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Wednesday 11 April 2012 at 12:00 - 13:30


MEDIA, CULTURE AND CONSUMPTION CONFERENCE AUDITORIUM 1 Horne, J.


University of Central Lancashire Sport, Social Movements and Human Rights


This paper investigates the structure, organization and ideologies of selected global social movements that are associated with human rights and sport. Much has been written about globalization and anti-globalization processes and dynamics in general in relation to sport and other cultural forms. Less attention has been paid to sport and alterglobalization – the multifaceted forms of resistance to neo-liberal globalization that emerged with the first World Social Forum in Porto Allegre, Brazil, in 2001. Alterglobalization is instantiated through the large spectrum of global social movements that present themselves as supporting new forms of globalization, urging that values of democracy, justice, environmental protection, and human rights be considered as well as economic concerns.


Human rights are seen as inherently political and contingent - taking institutional, legal and discursive forms. Struggles in varied social, economic, political and ideological contexts are wrapped up under the phrase ‘human rights’ – civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights and solidarity rights. This discussion of social movements and organizations associated with sport makes no a priori assumption that sport can be a force for human good. It will focus on selected case studies of athletes, sports workers, children, housing evictions and sports mega-events, and indigenous and aboriginal peoples and sport. The paper will outline the attempts of social scientists to develop an understanding of these movements, as well as engage with their struggles, and thus demonstrate the intersections with other social movements in sport and global society.


Purdue, D. Loughborough University An (in)convenient Truce? Paralympic Stakeholders’ Reflections on the Olympic-Paralympic Relationship


The London 2012 Paralympic Games, sanctioned and governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), will be an elite multi-sport competition for individuals with specific impairments. The identity of this elite disability sport event has largely been subsumed within the term ‘London 2012’. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has arguably not fully espoused its Paralympic counterpart. Extant social knowledge evince the relationship between the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, which at times has been acrimonious, arguably emanating from contestation surrounding the use of the term Olympic.


Contemporary social perceptions which critique the current IPC-IOC relationship will be reflected upon in this paper. These perceptions were formulated by Paralympic stakeholders and shared with the author during semi- structured interviews conducted as part of his doctoral research. Data collected was analysed using a grounded theory approach and elements of Bourdieu’s sociological theory.


Several key issues that emerged from the dataset are addressed. Firstly, the perceived significance and meanings attached to economic capital provided to the IPC, by the IOC, will be explored. The apparent need for, and implications of, bidders for the Olympic Games being obliged to host the Paralympic Games is also considered. The ramifications of this are further debated through some Paralympic stakeholders’ assertions that Paralympians are not the same as Olympians.


This paper positions the Paralympic Games centre stage in an effort to inspire future endeavour that begins to address the lacunae of sociological research into elite disability sport, an area in which Paralympic sport plays a highly influential role.


Pressland, A. Blink and You'll Miss It: Sexism as the Norm in Sports Reporting


Sportswomen are greatly underrepresented in the sports media in terms of column inches. Moreover, the type of coverage they receive reinforces gendered ideas about women and men’s physical abilities. The roles assigned to women in sport place them on the periphery of sporting performances, often in a supporting role, whereas men are lauded as sporting heroes and icons. This paper aims to explore the gender divide in sports reporting with a focus on the subtle sexism which is the norm in British newspapers.


Sexism in sport reporting relies on the reinforcement of hegemonic masculinity through a constant comparison to hyper-feminised sportswomen. Elite female athletes’ bodies are treated as different and significantly inferior in ability to their male counterparts by the British media. I will explore the roles assigned to men and women in the sports media, how they are represented, how that is reflected in participation and spectator numbers, how their sports media image shapes a wider understanding of physical limitations of women and how they inform the creation of role models amongst young people.


94 University of York


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