Cuktural Imperialism And The Olympics Essay Research

9 September 2017

Cuktural Imperialism And The Olympics Essay, Research Paper

Cultural Imperialism and the Olympic Games

Virtually since their recommencement in 1896, every four old ages the imperativeness is filled with ailments about the invasion of power political relations into the Olympic games. David B. Kanin has commented that while we are told that international Olympic system idealizes and promotes just drama and sportsmanship and ameliorates battle, hatred, and petty jealously through structured competition and international good will, the realist is that & # 8220 ; international athletics thrives on the really politics Olympic publicizers decry ( Kanin 1 ) . & # 8221 ; Nevertheless, the games are more or less & # 8216 ; political & # 8217 ; , than anything else. Ninety-five per centum of the jobs faced by IOC & # 8217 ; s president Killian involved national and international political relations ( Senn x ) . Further, it can be argued that what could be called & # 8216 ; cultural imperialism & # 8217 ; has influenced and even shaped the games. Cultural imperialism at times facilitates inclusion of featuring events reflecting a host states country of expertness or de-emphasizing athleticss that are popular with states non in political favour.

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The undermentioned study will research this issue up until the World War II games.

The Olympic Games and the Olympic system have become, in some critical ways, histrions on the planetary political phase. Senn proves this point when he states, & # 8220 ; Rather than being an independent establishment into which political relations creep uninvited, the Games and international athletics themselves play a important function in international political relations as they embody conflict and tenseness ( Senn xii ) . & # 8221 ; However, others disagree saying that they view athletics as a & # 8220 ; multinational & # 8221 ; instead than & # 8220 ; international & # 8221 ; phenomenon. This suggests the competition brings together non-governmental groups and organisations independently of the authoritiess of the universe ( Senn xii ) . This leads to the inquiry of why Americans even got involved in the Olympic Games. Bob Fulton believes that when Pierre de Coubertan was foremost presenting the revived Games, American jocks and athletic associations were non peculiarly interested in engagement. They frequently felt that the Games were little more than an historical relic best left forgotten. Entreaties to sportsmanship and the potency of the Games to further understanding among diverse peoples ( taking to universe peace and harmoniousness ) were disregarded ( Fulton 52-58 ) . Merely when American jocks began to make good in the Olympics did a bulk of other jocks and organisations decide that engagement has some existent benefit. Therefore, it is suggested that political every bit good as competitory motivations fostered American engagement.

American engagement in the Games, has had many long permanent effects on the Olympic system. It has been stated that Western athleticss and ideals have dominated many aspects of the Olympics. Ruud Stockvis, a Dutch sociologist, states the popularity of any given athletics in any given state depends upon the development of the places of economic and political power among the states of the universe system ( Guttmann 173 ) . The United States is one of the largest Hegemons in the universe, hence, cultural imperialism is dominant in many of their athleticss and other Western states. For illustration, baseball, hoops, American football, lacrosse, are some of the most popular athleticss all over the universe. However, many states have taken American athleticss and adopted them to accommodate their civilization ( Guttmann 174 ) . For case, Canadians have taken to a version of gridiron football and even imported American participants ( Guttmann 175 ) . On the contrary, the United States has taken athleticss from other states. Old ages after baseball became Cuba & # 8217 ; s national game, jai-lai became popular among Americans ( Guttmann 175 ) . Last, there have been illustrations of utmost cultural imperialism in the past. British missionaries had forced peoples of Asia, Africa, and India to play cricket and association football football against their will. It was an attempt to Christianize these native peoples and force western values and civilization upon them ( Guttmann 177 ) .

Proof that the games have become an attractive force for showcasing the accomplishments, expertness, and endowments of jocks from specific states ( either hosts allowed under the system to add events or powers influential in specifying the range of the games ) can be easy demonstrated. Besides, certain cultural values have been forced into the Games and its ceremonials. These types of actions are another signifier of cultural imperialism impacting the Olympics. For illustration, we can see the followers:

? In 1912, Christian worship was introduced and conducted in the bowl as portion of the gap ceremonial. It subsequently became peripheral in 1928 when the Dutch concluded that Protestant services were inappropriate at a festival to which jocks of every faith were invited ( Guttmann 126 ) .

? Archery has prehistoric beginnings on every continent, but the bows and pointers used in the Olympic competitions were deve

loped by Western modern engineering ( Guttmann 137 ) .

? In 1936 at the Berlin Games, Germany added a athletics & # 8211 ; 11 & # 8211 ; a side handball- in which its ain squad excelled ( cyberspace ) .

? The Nordic states produced jocks who excelled in winter athleticss. A separate & # 8220 ; Winter Games & # 8221 ; was developed upon their insisting and this continued at four-year intervals ( Guttmann 39 ) .

These few illustrations prove that the Olympic Games have been used by nation-states to present competitory chances in which their ain jocks excel. In add-on, the inclusion of adult females in the Olympic games spurted contention among the IOC. It seems that the enlargement of adult females & # 8217 ; s featuring events prior to and after World War II, was driven by Western states such as Britain and France where adult females & # 8217 ; s issues have achieved a topographic point on a national policy societal docket ( Senn 43 ) . These types of states could direct the greatest figure of skilled adult females athletes-increasing their opportunities of success. Members of the IOC argued that adult females & # 8217 ; s organic structures were unfit for athletic competition and voted to extinguish their events wholly ( Senn 43 ) . Some women’s rightists from the United States even argued that they should non be included in the Olympic Games. Nevertheless, adult females & # 8217 ; s events increased greatly over the old ages and they make up a immense portion of the Olympic Games. Women being added to the Olympic Games is another illustration of cultural imperialism and its effects on spread outing the games.

Decisions sing intensification and enlargement of the Games have besides been politically driven. One can reason, that Coubertin & # 8217 ; s attempts to re-establish the games were dominated by desire to resuscitate France & # 8217 ; s power and credibleness which had been damaged by the licking of France in the Franco-Prussian war of 1871 ( Senn 20 ) . If France was successful in the games and its organisation, it would look good for the state. Within France, Coubertin made an attempt to better instruction, particularly physical instruction. This could assist convey new life and strength to his state, chiefly Gallic young person who were the hope of the hereafter ( Senn 20 ) . Even though Coubertin was successful in forming the first games, it did non convey much acknowledgment to France or himself. Other states, particularly the Greeks, accused Coubertin of stealing their heritage and they refused to give him recognition for forming the first modern Olympic Games ( Senn 24 ) . However, as the old ages progressed, Coubertin was given the recognition he deserved and has been called the male parent of the modern Olympics.

Further, it can be argued that chauvinistic competition is present in the Games and states have used the Games to further their political involvements. A perfect illustration of a state utilizing the Olympics to legalize itself, can be traced back to the Berlin Games of 1936. Since the Germans were excluded from the Games of 1920 and 1924, they wanted to demo the athletics universe what they failed to appreciate ( Senn 50 ) . Adolf Hitler, who had merely come into power, was dying to utilize the Games to demo the universe the strength and energy of its new order ( Senn 50 ) . If the Germans were successful in presenting and winning the Games, this could turn out their high quality. After Germany was awarded the Games, racialist rhetoric towards Jews and Blacks began to come up from Germany. The Nazis were quoted as stating, & # 8220 ; the Olympic Games are an ill-famed festival dominated by Jews ( Senn 50 ) . & # 8221 ; Besides, in response to the success of Blacks in the Los Angeles Games Germans said:

Blacks have no topographic point in the Olympics. Today we witness the free white work forces have to vie with the unfree Negro. This is a adulteration of the Olympic thought beyond comparing? ( Senn 50 )

Germany didn & # 8217 ; t want to allow Jews and inkinesss to vie in their Games. Kanin provinces, & # 8220 ; Nazi readyings demonstrated the effectivity of an athletic entreaty to a opinion cultural group designed to bind together constructs of state, province, and race ( Kanin 53 ) . & # 8221 ; It has even been rumored that Germany hired a film maker to bring forth a movie called Olympia. This movie depicted the Germans and other Aryans as superior human existences. However, after much argument, Germany allowed Jews and inkinesss to take part in the Berlin Games. However, merely two Jews, one a adult female who lived in the United States, competed on the German squad ( Senn 54 ) . All these illustrations prove that a host state has much power in ordering the regulations of the Games.

Over the old ages, the Olympics have grown to be a international sporting competition, where states can set international tenseness aside and vie on the playing field. Athletes represent their state and when they do win, it raises national pride within that state. On the triumph stand a title-holder may experience he or she is stand foring merely himself or herself or may experience transformed as the representative of a state, society, or cause ( Senn xv ) . Nevertheless, Cultural imperialism has impacted the Games enormously and its effects can even be seen in today & # 8217 ; s Games.

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