Sex, Power and the Games

Woodward, Kath (2012). Sex, Power and the Games. Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.




The Olympics are reputedly the greatest show on earth and offer not only entertainment and opportunities for embodied sporting achievement but also a significant site for serious sociological research.This book is a timely intervention in critical analyses of the role of the Olympic Games in contemporary social, cultural, economic and political life in 2012, when the Games are held in London. The London Games feature one of the most ambitious Cultural Olympiads, a phenomenon which is addressed in the book in the context of the interrelationships between art and sport, drawing upon original research in particular examples of art, sport and sponsorship. This book draws on feminist thinking and uses the concept of sex gender to explore some of the tensions that are played out in the Olympic Games and in the history of the Olympic Movement between its democratic principles and opportunities and its firmly entrenched inequalities. Sex Power and the Games argues that conceptualisations of sex gender and enfleshed selves offer ways of exploring and explaining some of the endurances of social and cultural inequalities that are generated as well as reflected in the Games along with the promise of transformation and opportunities for change which are important dimensions of how power operates in sport and in the Games in particular.

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