Market Dreams: Gender, Class, and Capitalism in the Czech Republic

Towards Gendering Institutionalism
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The contributions raise important questions about the way forward: should efforts concentrate on gendering existing approaches to the study of institutions or can there be, should there be, a feminist institutionalism. Request Inspection Copy. Add to cart. Buy in the Americas. Categories: Women in Politics,. Identity and Difference,.

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Throughout the period of Western imperialism that reached its apogee in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, colonized peoples were often forced to adopt Western sports. This was especially true at missionary schools. More often than not, however, politically and economically colonized peoples were motivated by emulation. Anglophile Argentines formed football teams not because they were coerced to play but rather because football was the game played by the English whom they admired. More recently, however, as transnational corporations have sought to sell every kind of product to every reachable consumer, modern sports have been systematically marketed to the entire world, not only as sources of pleasure but also as signs of distinction, prestige , and power.

Western values and capitalist marketing, advertising, and consumption have influenced the ways people throughout the world construct, use, represent, imagine, and feel about their bodies. Unquestionably, there is a political economy at work in the production and consumption of global sports and leisure products that has resulted in the relative ascendancy of a narrow selection of Western sports, but non-Western sports and attitudes toward the physical self have not completely disappeared.

Not only have they survived, but some of them, such as the martial arts and yoga , have also found a prominent place in the sports and body cultures of Europe and North America. It is possible, therefore, to overstate the extent to which the West has dominated in terms of global sports structures, organizations, and ideologies. As noted, non-Western cultures resist and reinterpret Western sports and maintain, foster, and promote on a global scale their own indigenous recreational pursuits.

The popularity of Asian martial arts in Europe and the Americas is one sign of this. In other words, global sports processes involve multidirectional movements of people, practices, customs, and ideas that reflect a series of shifting power balances.

Socialization into and through sports

These processes have unintended as well as intended consequences. The 19th-century diffusion of football soccer is one example of this sort of globalization. The 20th-century diffusion of surfboarding from Hawaii is another. In sum, the speed, scale, and volume of sports development can be imagined as eddies within the broader global flows of people, technology, finance, images, and ideologies that are dominated by Europe and North America whose elites are predominantly white males.

There are, however, signs that global processes may be leading to the diminution of Western power in a variety of contexts , including sports. Sports may become increasingly contested, with Asian and African cultures challenging 19th- and 20th-century hegemonic masculine notions regarding the content, meaning, control, organization, and ideology of sports.

Moreover, global flows are simultaneously increasing the varieties of body cultures and identities available to people in local cultures. Global sports, then, seem to be leading not only to the reduction in contrasts between societies but also to the simultaneous emergence of new varieties of body cultures and identities. That international sports success in the late 20th century involved a contest between systems located within a global context was vividly displayed in the sporting struggles of the Cold War era.

From the s to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the s, there was intense athletic rivalry between the Soviet bloc on the one hand and the United States and its allies on the other. On both sides of the Iron Curtain , sports victories were touted as proof of ideological superiority.

Success in these encounters depended on several factors, among them the identification and recruitment of human resources including coaches and trainers as well as athletes , innovations in coaching and training, advances in sports medicine and sports psychology, and—not surprisingly—the expenditure of a significant portion of the gross domestic product to support these systems. While neglecting the infrastructure for recreational sports for ordinary citizens, the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic East Germany sought to enhance their international prestige by investing huge sums in elite sports.

At universities and sports centres in Moscow, Leipzig, Bucharest, and elsewhere, Soviet-bloc countries developed an elaborate sports-medicine and sports-science program allied in the case of East Germany with a state-sponsored drug regime. For a time, the Soviet-bloc countries were outcompeting their Western counterparts, but the major Western sporting nations began to create similar state-sponsored programs. Even after the dissolution of the Soviet bloc, an international order persists in which nations can be grouped into core, semiperipheral, and peripheral blocs, not by geography but rather by politics, economics, and culture.

Japan, South Korea , Cuba, China, Brazil, and several of the former Soviet-bloc states can be classified as semiperipheral sports powers. On the periphery are most Asian, African, and Latin American nations. The core may be challenged on the field of play in one sport or another East African runners dominate middle-distance races , but control over the ideological and economic resources associated with sports still tends to lie in the West, where the IOC and the headquarters of nearly all the international sports federations are located.

Despite their relative weakness in international competition, noncore countries have used regularly recurring sports festivals, such as the Asian Games , to solidify regional and national identities and to enhance international recognition and prestige. Despite programs such as Olympic Solidarity, which provides aid and technical assistance to poorer nations, material resources still tend to be concentrated in the core nations, while those on the periphery lack the means to develop and retain their athletic talent.

They lose many of their best athletes to more powerful nations that can offer better training facilities, stiffer competition, and greater financial rewards. This was especially true in sports such as football, where players were lured by the lucrative contracts offered by European and Japanese clubs. Noncore leagues remain in a dependent relationship with the dominant European core.

In other sports, such as track and field and baseball, this drain of talent flows to the United States. Despite some competition from Japan, the West also remains overwhelmingly dominant in terms of the design, production, and marketing of sportswear and equipment. Although migrant labour has been a feature of the sports process since ancient times, the phenomenon increased in complexity and intensity during the last decades of the 20th century.

This acceleration is closely tied to globalization processes. The migration of athletes and others involved in sports occurs at three levels: within nations, between nations located on the same continent, and between nations located in different continents and hemispheres. Extensive migration within nations has been common since the beginnings of modern sports in the 18th century, but intercontinental migration was infrequent before the 20th century.

Recent examples of intracontinental migration include the flow of baseball players from the Dominican Republic to the United States and of eastern European football, ice hockey, and basketball players to western Europe. Coaches in these and other sports have joined the exodus. Availing themselves of their new freedom of movement, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, and Romanians have moved west.

Eastward expansion of the European Union , whose rules have further liberalized the labour market, has accelerated this migration. Movement of sports labour also occurs between North America , Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia in many sports, including football soccer , baseball, and basketball. Canadians play ice hockey in Britain , Germany , France, and Switzerland ; conversely, there is a flow of sports labour in the opposite direction when North American ice hockey teams acquire Russian, Czech, and Scandinavian players.

American universities actively recruit Europeans to participate in track and field, football soccer , rugby, basketball, and swimming , while large numbers of Africans have competed at the college level in the United States in basketball and track-and-field sports. What had begun as the unilateral movement of American basketball players to European professional leagues in the s became a two-way flow by the end of the century, and the number of international players in the National Basketball Association increased dramatically.

Similarly, while American baseball players had for decades competed on Japanese teams, beginning in the s a few elite Japanese players made an impact on Major League Baseball. The migration of athletes between nations is sometimes complicated by the imposition by professional leagues and associations of quotas that limit the number of foreign players a team can field.

In some cases these restrictions are circumvented when a player is able to claim ancestral links to another country, as Diego Maradona did when he moved from Argentina to Italy. In specific sports, such as cricket and rugby, labour migration has a seasonal pattern, with the Northern and Southern hemispheres scheduling two different seasons of play. One consequence is that the natural rhythm of the traditional sporting calendar most often governed by climate has diminished in importance.

Occasionally seasonal and transitory migration patterns interweave, as they do for golf and tennis players. Tennis stars crisscross the globe in pursuit of Grand Slam titles and points that determine their world ranking. These migratory forays tend to last no more then eight days per tournament venue.

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In this respect, tennis players and golfers are probably the ultimate nomads of the sports migration process, with constantly shifting workplaces and places of residence. Migrant athletes have generally improved their lives, experiencing social as well as spatial mobility, but they have also experienced economic exploitation, dislocation, and culture shock. The disadvantages of sports migration have been greater for female athletes. Although women now travel more frequently and in greater numbers than in the past, men continue to move more freely and to be paid more generously.

This pattern results from social structures that continue to assume that women are solely responsible for domestic matters and child care. As with broader global processes, an economic analysis is a necessary but insufficient explanation of sports migration. The migrant trails of world sports are constructed by shifting sets of multilayered interdependencies that include not only economic but also political, historical, geographic, social, and cultural factors.

As with global sports in general, a broad approach must be taken to make sense of these migration processes.

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The experience of migrant athletes once they arrive in a host country along with the impact of their presence on the hosts is determined by a wide range of factors, including the residual impact of colonial heritages and cultural traditions; cultural and legal encouragement or discouragement of migration; economic, social, and cultural dependency; and political changes within and between societies and power blocs.

A number of processes that are more immediately related to sports are also involved. Special status is ascribed to particular sporting traditions and particular leagues. Ethnic and racial stereotyping , which categorizes athletes as desirable or undesirable candidates for recruitment, also plays a role. Other factors influencing migration include the political, economic, and playing ambitions of individual clubs, leagues, and national associations; the role of agents and coaching networks; and the resources available for the identification, development, and exploitation of new talent sources.

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All of these factors will influence the speed, scale, and volume of future sports migration. The relationship between mass media and sports has profoundly influenced both institutions. From the late 18th century onward, this relationship has passed through a series of stages, the first of which was parallel development, with the mass media reaching a broader audience through new technologies and market growth while sports were attracting a growing base of paying spectators. Next, their trajectories began to intersect—the commercial mass media especially after their emergence in electronic form increasingly viewed sports coverage as an inexpensive way of supplying much-needed content.

Sports were correctly perceived as ideal for capturing audiences for advertisers. Public or state media also recognized sporting events as opportunities to reaffirm national culture and to bolster patriotism. As the economic infrastructure of sports developed to the level of a bona fide industry, sports entrepreneurs began to see the mass media as important for generating interest among spectators and sponsors. Finally, by the late 20th century, mass media and elite sports formed a marriage of convenience, becoming in this last stage so economically interdependent as to be virtually inseparable.

It is now, for example, impossible to imagine the continued existence of professional sports—football, basketball, gridiron football, or baseball—without billion-dollar broadcast rights and saturation coverage in the sports pages. This coming together of media and sports, however, can reinstate older practices, with the costs to media corporations of acquiring broadcast rights and sports clubs offset by reintroducing the charge for watching that home viewers previously evaded.

The introduction of cable, satellite, and microwave delivery systems has enabled broadcasters to exact payment for access to hour sports channels or, in an even more direct revival of turnstile arrangements, for access to pay-per-view live broadcasts of especially popular sports events such as championship boxing matches. Sports bars and other entertainment venues with multiple television screens also offer a more public way of watching sports, just as large screens are now a feature at most major sports stadiums. For those who prefer to stay at home, however, the spreading availability of the Internet has created many new ways of connecting sports fans, media companies, sponsors, and advertisers.

For example, all the major American media companies now have a substantial online presence. Cyberspace is the latest site for the intimate relationship between the mass media and professional sports to be consummated. Tracing the rise of the mass media and professional sports demonstrates constant change and innovation in the presentation of sports in the media. The pace of this change has accelerated with the intensification of competition between media organizations, between different sports, and between sports and other forms of leisure entertainment.

The print sports media have evolved far beyond their original 18th-century role of announcing imminent sports events and recording their outcomes. By the end of the century, the popularity of these sports stories among mostly male readers had prompted the growth of sports desks staffed by specialized journalists. They produced sports pages, often conveniently located at the back of the newspaper, that provided readers with abundant, although largely sanitized, information about athletes and their performances.

Sportswriters tended to concentrate on the anticipation, atmospheric description, and postmortem dissection of major sporting occasions. Newspaper proprietors quickly discovered that the back page was often consulted before the weightier matters of state at the front of the newspaper. The importance of sports for newspaper circulation can be illustrated by the placement, as a lure for its readers, of a detailed horse-racing form in The Morning Star, the long-running but now defunct British Communist Party newspaper.

The space devoted to sports coverage in the daily press increased to the point where, by the middle of the 20th century, even the august New York Times was producing bulky sports sections. A host of sportswriting styles and genres are available to readers. Journalists have become increasingly enthusiastic about probing sports scandals.

Sports fans have been enlightened about official corruption such as that surrounding the successful bid by Salt Lake City , Utah , to host the Winter Olympics , performance-enhancing drugs, and off-field violence committed by athletes and fans. There is also considerable space in the print media devoted to in-depth profiles of athletes and the examination of sports issues, some of which are collected in books such as the Best American Sports Writing series.

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These and other forms of writing contribute to and are a result of the prominence of sports in the contemporary economy and society. However evocative sportswriting might be, it lacks the immediate impact of a striking visual sports image. As newspapers have developed their design appeal, sports photography has enhanced the attractiveness of the sports pages and of general current-affairs magazines such as Time , Newsweek , Paris-Match , and Der Spiegel.

It still lacks a vibrant sense of immediacy. The diffusion of radio technology throughout Europe and North America in the s allowed fans, absent from the game for whatever reason distance, scheduling, venue capacity, cost , to listen in to play-by-play descriptions of events. Once radio broadcasting had been established, the next technological innovation— television —added the crucial visual to the existing audio dimension of live sports spectatorship.

Television provides an unprecedented opportunity for vicarious experience.

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The doubts quickly disappeared when it was discovered that television also had the capacity to generate legions of new sports fans. The enthusiastic response to sports programming provided sports organizations with a powerful new revenue stream: the sale of broadcast rights. By the late 20th century, as the cultural economy became increasingly important and the need to attract consumers to converging broadcast, computer, and telecommunications technologies became ever more urgent, entrepreneurs sold audiovisual access to their performances at vastly inflated prices.

For televised sports, technical and presentational complexity has increased alongside the cost, scope, and density of coverage. From a single, static camera attempting to capture sports events as if from the perspective of a well-positioned spectator at the venue, the number and capabilities of cameras and microphones have vastly increased.

At contemporary major sports events, multiple cameras are positioned to capture the action from a variety of angles including overhead , distances from extreme close-ups to panoramas , and speeds from super slow motion to time-lapse speed. The first will allow viewers to make their own production choices of camera angle and displayed sports data; the second will so immerse viewers in the sports action that they will feel like participants.

In this way sports will remain central to the economics of the media. This popularity and adaptability have ensured that media companies will continue to invest a major share of their resources in one of their most valuable commercial assets—sports. Modern sports and modern mass media are both multibillion-dollar businesses.

Elite sports cannot function as they do without the mass media to publicize and underwrite them. This dynamic synergy between sports and the mass media is not without its problems. The mass media have enormous influence not only on the way that sports events are staged but also on when they take place. With regard to their life courses and employment trajectories, women in Central and Eastern European CEE countries represent a special case within contemporary Europe.

Throughout most of the previous decades, employment of both genders was high, actively supported by state family policies and comprehensive work-family reconciliation measures that especially targeted relieving women from motherhood-related care duties.

However, the Eastern European system transformation of the s led to a considerable labour market crisis as well as a notable decline of investment in social and family policies see Blossfeld and Hofmeister, ; Blossfeld et al. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Blossfeld, H.