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  • Sport bewegt Europa. Beiträge zur interkulturellen Verständigung
  • Elke Grimminger
Blecking, Diethelm and Petra Gieß-Stüber, eds. Sport bewegt Europa. Beiträge zur interkulturellen Verständigung. Baltmannsweiler, Ger.: Schneider, 2006. Pp. 237. €19.80.

This anthology is based on the international conference "Sport—Integration—Europe" in 2005; both have arisen from the European project "The development of Intercultural Competence through Sports in an Expanding European Union." Academics in cultural studies, in sports sociology, in pedagogy, and history from six different European countries approach the issue of "Sport and Europe" from different perspectives and from different theoretical backgrounds. Two major themes are covered: the (sport) historical and (sport) cultural encounter of European neighbors and intercultural and interethnic differences intra-system of organized sport and education.

The editors, Diethelm Blecking and Petra Gieß-Stüber, declare that European integration and its consequences for sport development have only been described at the level of high performance sports and of juridical implications. Until now recreational sports have not been considered. According to the editors, there is a lack of acknowledgment of the differences between European sports cultures.

In the first part of the book, articles about Germany, Poland, France, and Czech Republic, the four partner countries in the European project, introduce the different sport traditions and sport historical backgrounds in these four countries. Diethelm Blecking shows the development of sports in nineteenth and twentieth-century Germany, reminding readers of the almost forgotten ethnic and social diversity in the German sport system. Piotr Godlewski, Tomasz Jurek, and Bernard Woltmann describe sports development in Poland from the partition of the country up to the transformation problems of Post Stalinism. The authors explain that national identification has played and continues to play a very important role in Polish sport. André Gounot and Birgit Kloock survey the problems of sport and integration in France, basing their argument on the republican concept of state, which ignores cultural and ethnic peculiarities. Using the example of the Czech sokol movement, Marek Waic illustrates the particular role of sports in the nation-building process in Eastern Europe. Ludmila Fialová points out the consequences of political and social changes for participation in sports, especially for women and minorities, such as Roma people.

The second part of the book focuses on the subject "Sport and integration in Germany." Tayfun Keltek speaks for the immigrants and their institutions. Political and pedagogical relations of sport and integration in Germany are demonstrated, hopes and expectations are outlined. Marie-Luise Klein examines the importance of social studies and their integration concepts for research in sport sciences. Afterwards the author presents results of a study about intercultural contact and conflicts in recreational football. Christa Kleindienst-Cachay introduces qualitative research results about Turkish-Muslim girls and women and their successful careers in high performance sports, with reference to the contexts of professional sport and Muslim women in Germany.

In the third part of the book, apparently universal trans-national and historical phenomena are outlined and criticized. Henning Eichberg, using the example of the Olympic [End Page 157] Games in St. Louis in 1904, describes how universal Olympism excludes different cultural elements and unquantifiable sports disciplines. Bernd Bröskamp offers a vision for a contemporary sociology of the body and sport that transcends nationalistic limits and refutes the idea of the universal body.

The fourth part of the book is dedicated to pedagogical perspectives and how to promote intercultural competence. Ralf Erdmann focuses on identity-building processes as a basis for the promotion of intercultural learning in and through sports. Petra Gieß-Stüber outlines visions and intervention possibilities in sports to promote a constructive handling of diversity. The author underlines the education potentials that are an inherent part of this, but, because the German education system is orientated towards a monocultural and homogeneous society, these potentials are overlooked. Dorothea Bender-Szymanski presents an empirical study of teacher behavior in intercultural contexts. The author works out two handling strategies: a synergy-orientated strategy and an ethnic-orientated one. In her second article, she discusses the "difficult tolerance" on the basis of a teaching unit, accompanied by empirical research. This unit focuses on the conflict caused by a...


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