May be of interest to those researching on Olympic themes….
The 29th annual conference of La Sociedad Norteamericana para la Sociologia del Deporte /The North American Society for the Sociology of Sport/La Société nord-américaine de sociologie du sport (NASSS) will be held 5-8 November 2008 at the Curtis Hotel in Denver, Colorado, USA. The theme for this year’s conference is “Sport and Peace/Social (In)Justice.”
This year’s theme, “Sport and Peace/Social (In)Justice,” challenges us to envision sport as a vehicle for social justice and local and global peace. Sport has been used to signify patriotism, escapism, and the core values of both North American and global communities that are embedded with/in both latent and blatant issues of social injustice. In this historical moment, then, sport is implicated within “an amorphous opinion culture, characterized by strong patriotic identification mixed with feelings of practical political powerlessness” (Berlant, 1997, p. 3). As such, sport has been associated with/in such divisive or collaborative practices and rhetorics as, for example, the marginalization of LBGT communities, dispossessed peoples, ethnic and racial “minorities,” people living with disabilities, and feminists. Additionally, sport has become implicated within, for example, issues concerning the environment (e.g., “sustainability” and “greening” movements); issues regarding animal rights, child labor practices, and structural privilege; issues of Native-American mascots/symbols and self-determination; issues of human rights; issues of pedagogical and praxis-oriented natures; issues embedded within ethics and ethical behaviors; and issues involving governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals within the discourses and practices of conflict resolution and sporting practices.
Within the broad-based theme of Sport and Peace/Social (In)Justice, we envision a large number of papers and presentations. We also see the sport/peace/social justice nexus as performative in nature. That is to say, social justice and peace issues within sporting contexts a part of a larger cultural performance which matters. We encourage our community of scholars to engage with these issues, through the thematic lens of “Sport and Peace/Social (In)Justice,” but we also encourage sessions and papers outside of the theme of the conference.
Olympism and Social Justice
This session will share papers and research that examine the philosophy of Olympism and its impact and influence on social justice and social change. Papers that explore the theory and/or the practice of Olympism in and through sport are welcome. This session will aim to address the place of the sporting ideals, principles and standards embodied in Olympism, and the ways in which these ideas work to further social justice and social change throughout the sporting community and within society on the whole. Contact: Eli A. Wolff, Northeastern University, e.wolff[at]neu.edu