In recent decades, sport has become an increasingly important path of mobility for Pacific Islander men, positioning them within interlinked local, state, regional, and global sporting economies. Players from the Pacific (particularly in rugby, rugby league, soccer, and gridiron football) have become icons through their sporting prowess, not only within Oceania but in Japan, the United States, and throughout Europe as well, as new markets have opened up through professional and semi-professional sport. Yet this movement continues to take place within the fragile context of the spread of globalized media, transnational capital investment, and development initiatives throughout the region. This introduction to global sport in the Pacific considers the complicated realities of and links between modern, highly commercialized team sports that have facilitated both the rise of global sport in the Pacific and the rise of the Pacific in global sport. Focused on key themes of agency and mobility; development and discipline; indigenization, embodiment, and ethno-nationalism; and polyvalent imaginaries, the contributions to this special issue explore how and why sporting practices have become closely linked to various economic, political, and social processes that shape possibilities for everyday life across the Pacific and beyond.


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pp. 263-279
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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