Abstract

This article considers the origins of "sport for good" in the Victorian rational recreation movement, and argues that the two main features of that movement—social control and self improvement—still provide a justification for almost all organized sport programs some 150 years later. The Janus-face of sport—the ways in which numerous meanings may be attached to sport participation and sporting spectacles, and the ways in which sport may be used to train young people for cooperation or conflict—leads to troubling questions about the new social movement that uses sport in programs of international development and peace building. I argue that using sport in this way is playing with fire. It is possible, under carefully controlled circumstances, to accomplish a great deal of "good" with sport, but the more destructive potential resulting from competition, the potential for violence, and "us" against "them" attitudes are always present.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-4724
Print ISSN
1945-4716
Pages
pp. 65-76
Launched on MUSE
2011-04-14
Open Access
No
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