Sport and Neoliberalism

Politics, Consumption, and Culture

Edited by David L. Andrews and Michael L. Silk
Book Cover

PB: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0504-3
Publication: Jul 12

HC: $91.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0503-6
Publication: Jul 12

Ebook: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0505-0
Publication: Jul 12

322 pages
6 x 9

How neoliberal politics appropriates sports for its own ends

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).


Offering new approaches to thinking about sports and political ideologies, Sport and Neoliberalism explores the structures, formations, and mechanics of neoliberalism. The editors and contributors to this original and timely volume examine the intersection of sport as a national pastime and also an engine for urban policy—e.g., stadium building—as well as a powerful force for influencing our understanding of the relationship between culture, politics, and identity.

Sport and Neoliberalism examines the ways the neoliberal project creates priorities for civic society and how, in effect, it turns many aspects of sport into a vehicle of public governance. From the relationship between sport and the neo-liberal state, through the environmental dimensions of neo-liberal sport, to the political biopolitics of obesity, the essays in this volume explore the ways in which the "logics" of neoliberalism are manifest as powerful public pedagogies through the realm of popular culture.

Contributors include: Michael Atkinson, Ted Butryn, C. L. Cole, Norman Denzin, Grant Farred, Jessica Francombe, Caroline Fusco, Michael D. Giardina, Mick Green, Leslie Heywood, Samantha King, Lisa McDermott, Mary G. McDonald, Toby Miller, Mark Montgomery, Joshua I. Newman, Jay Scherer, Kimberly S. Schimmel, and Brian Wilson


"Sport and Neoliberalism is a sophisticated collection of well-reasoned essays that collectively provide a landmark statement on neoliberalism as a dominant political, social, and economic organizing mechanism. The multidisciplinary nature and range of topics covered are impressive, as is the way that the editors have thematically organized the contributions. Scholars who are interested in any aspect of the political and economic governance of sport will find Sport and Neoliberalism a 'must read,' as will policy makers keen to understand more about the potential consequences of strategies of economic maximization and social control." John Amis, Department of Management, University of Memphis

"(A)n extensive collection of essays that provide a look at sport from political, social, and economic points of view (with a neoliberal slant).... (T)his book attempts to redefine how sport is viewed, discussed, and understood. It will be particularly useful to those interested in the intersection of politics, economics, and sport. Summing Up: Recommended." Choice

"For those interested in a critical analysis of sport, this collection has merit. Many of the articles are well written and carefully analyze the intricate relationship between neoliberalism and sport." Contemporary Sociology

"Sport and Neoliberalism provides an ideal opportunity to consider and assess (neoliberalism's) relevance to the functioning and performance of contemporary sport.... One area in which the editors excelled is (the) inclusion of a wide variety of sport issues and sport settings.... This addition to sport literature is insightful and invaluable and serves as a strong call to action for sport management researchers."

Table of Contents

1. Sport and the Neoliberal Conjuncture: Complicating the Consensus • Michael L. Silk • David L. Andrews

Part I Structures, Formations, and Mechanics of Neoliberalism
2. A Distorted Playing Field: Neoliberalism and Sport through the lens of Economic Citizenship • Toby Miller
3. Advanced Liberal Government, Sport Policy, and “Building the Active Citizen” • Mick Green
4. Race, Class, and Politics in Post-Katrina America • Michael D. Giardina • C. L. Cole
5. Nike U: Full-Program Athletics Contracts and the Corporate University • Samantha King
6. Growth and Nature: Reflections on Sport, Carbon Neutrality, and Ecological Modernization • Brian Wilson
7. The Uncanny of Olympic Time: Michael Phelps and the End of Neoliberalism • Grant Farred

Part II Government, Governance, and the Cultural Geographies of Neoliberalism
8. The Governance of the Neoliberal Sporting City • Michael L. Silk • David L. Andrews
9. Governing Play: Moral Geographies, Healthification, and Neoliberal Urban Imaginaries • Caroline Fusco
10. Neoliberal Redevelopment, Sport Infrastructure, and the Militarization of U.S. Urban Terrain • Kimberly S. Schimmel
11. Economies of Surf: Evolution, Territorialism, and the Erosion of Localism • Leslie Heywood • Mark Montgomery
12. Free Running: Post-Sport Liminality in a Neoliberal World • Michael Atkinson

Part III Consuming Pleasure: Citizenship, Subjectivities, and “Popular” Sporting Pedagogies
13. Out-of-Bounds Plays: The Women’s National Basketball Association and the Neoliberal Imaginings of Sexuality • Mary G. McDonald
14. Pedagogies of Fat: The Social Currency of Slenderness • Jessica M. Francombe • Michael L. Silk
15. Technologies of the South: Sport, Subjectivity, and “Swinging” Capital • Joshua I. Newman
16. Hijacking Canadian Identity: Stephen Harper, Hockey, and the Terror of Neoliberalism • Jay Scherer • Lisa McDermott
17. Global Smackdown: Vince McMahon, World Wrestling Entertainment, and Neoliberalism • Ted Butryn

Afterword: Sport and Neoliberalism • Norman K. Denzin


About the Author(s)

David L. Andrews is a Professor in the Physical Cultural Studies program, Department of Kinesiology, at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Michael L. Silk is a Reader in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Bath.


In the Series

  • Sporting edited by Amy Bass

    As an international cultural activity for athleticism, spectatorship, and global cultural exchange, sport is unmatched by any other force on earth. And yet it remains a consistently understudied dimension of history and cultural studies. Sporting, edited by Amy Bass, aims to contribute to the study of sport by publishing works by people across a range of disciplines, by professional sportswriters, and by athletes to add substance to our still emerging notion of globalization.