Sport, Nationalism, and Globalization

European and North American Perspectives

By Alan Bairner

Subjects: Political Science
Series: SUNY series in National Identities
Paperback : 9780791449127, 227 pages, March 2001
Hardcover : 9780791449110, 227 pages, March 2001

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Table of contents


One. National Identity, Globalization, and Sport

Sport, Nationalism, and Nationality
Nation, Nationalism, and Nationality
National Identity and Globalization
Globalization and Sport
Nationalism: Resistance to Globalization and Sport
Sporting Nationalism

Two. British Nationalism or Ulster Nationalism? Sport and the Protestants of Northern Ireland

Politics and Society in Northern Ireland
Globalization in Northern Ireland
Britain and the Origins of Sport in Modern Ireland
Sport in Modern Ireland
Sport and Ulster Unionism
Ulster Unionism, National Identity, and Constitutional Change?

Three. "We Are the England Haters!"Sport and National Identity in Scotland

Scotland, Sport, and Nationhood
Scotland the Nation! 48Scottish National Identity
Scotland: The Sporting Nation
Soccer and the Scots
Shinty: The National Game?
Golf: Scotland's Gift to the World?
Rugby and the Flower of Scotland
Sport and Scottish National Identity
Globalization and Scottish Sport

Four. National Identity and International Recognition: Sport and the Development of Irish Nationalism

Irish, Nation, and Nationality
Sport, Empire, and Ireland
Sporting Nationalism and the Gaelic Athletic Association
Sporting Nationalism in the Two Irelands
Gaelic Games Go Global?
Irish Nationalism and "Foreign" Games
Sport, Nationality, and the New Ireland

Five. Isolation or Expansion? Nationalism and Sport in the United States 91

Sport and American Identity
Sport in Early America
American Sport and Native America
Sport, American Society, and Globalization
American Sporting Nationalism

Six. Maple Leaf Americans: Sport and Questions of Canadian National Identity

Canada and the Politics of National Identity
Imperialism, Sport, and the Canadians
Americanization, Sport, and the Canadians
Sport and the Contest for Canadian National Identity
Lacrosse: The National Sport?
American Sport and Canadian Identity
Canadian Football and Americanization
Canada Is Hockey?
Hockey, Globalization, and Canadian National Identity

Seven. Sporting Nationalism for Beginners: Sport and Nationalism in Sweden

Sweden and Nationality
Sweden: A Sporting Nation
Sport and Swedish Identity
Skiing and the Swedes
Sport and the Swedish Nation
Sport and the Swedish Model
Sport in a Changing Sweden
Swedish Sport, Globalization, and Identity

Eight. Sporting Nationalism and National Identities: A Theoretical Discussion

Sport and National Identity
Fandom and Identity in the Global Era
National Sports
On Sporting Nationalism and National Identity
Sport and Contested National Identity
Reflections on Sport and Nationalism in Europe and North America
Civic and Ethnic Sporting Nationalisms
Sport, Nationality, and Resistance to Globalization



Explores the relationship between sport and national identities within the context of globalization in the modern era.


Sport and nationalism are arguably two of the most emotional issues in the modern world. Both inspire intense devotion and frequently lead to violence. In this book, Alan Bairner discusses the relationship between sport and national identities in Europe and North America—specifically Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, the United States, and Canada—within the context of a broader theoretical debate about the impact of globalization in the modern era. Through a unique comparative perspective, the author sheds new light on the ways sport impacts the construction and reproduction of national identities. Ultimately, the work considers the role of sport in allowing nations and nationalists to resist, or at least come to terms with, powerful globalizing pressures.

Alan Bairner is Professor in Sports Studies in the School of Applied Medical Sciences and Sports Studies at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. He is the coauthor of Sport, Sectarianism and Society in a Divided Ireland and coeditor of Sport in Divided Societies.


"This book offers a new perspective in the study of sport and nationalism by underlining the links between the recent evolution of sporting nationalism with globalization processes. Moreover, to my knowledge, this is the first single-author book about sport and nationalism offering such a variety of case studies. The fact that the same framework is applied to all the case studies offers a very good comparative perspective. This book will become a reference in the field of sport and nationalism. " — Jean Harvey, coeditor of Not Just a Game: Essays in Canadian Sport Sociology

"No book on this topic has as consistently and as powerfully examined the relationship between sporting nationalism and globalization. " — William J. Morgan, coeditor of Philosophic Inquiry in Sport and author of Leftist Theories of Sport: A Critique and Reconstruction