The King of Shreds and Patches: The Sportsman in Postcolonial Culture

By Jade Nobbs.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The process of globalisation follows many paths. It begins with the voyages of discovery; it continues with the expansion of global communication networks. Another crucial but often under-appreciated facilitator of the process of globalisation is organised sport, which was disseminated along with empire as a way of imposing order upon diverse colonial populations. Later, as part of the "decolonisation" process, sport became integral to myths of national emergence: sporting prowess became an index of the nation's "manhood," its ability to compete with other nations in a world-system of postcolonial nation-states. More recently, however, sport has begun to function as a vehicle for co-ordinating flows of global corporate capital, perhaps undermining its reputedly organic connection to nationhood. The history of organised sport therefore provides an analogy for the globalisation process itself, as it traces a process of dissemination by which a global model of cultural currency is formed out of the shreds and patches of postcolonial culture. This paper undertakes a comparative investigation of the intersection between discourses of masculinity, sport and globalisation in Australia, India and the West Indies in order to explore the construction of the figure of the "sportsperson" as a composite of national myth and global corporate capital.

Keywords: Globalisation, Gender, Sport

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 7, pp.21-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 514.145KB).

Dr. Jade Nobbs

Postdoctoral Associate, Faculty of Media, Society and Culture, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia


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