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History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Activity

by R. Scott Kretchmar, Mark Dyreson, Matthew Liewellyn and John Gleaves Human Kinetics
Pub Date:
Hbk 352 pages
AU$229.00 NZ$237.39
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Blending historical grounding and philosophical insights regarding sport and physical activity, History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Activity covers the historical and philosophical dimensions of the study of human movement. This cross-disciplinary text shows how theory in the humanities can affect professional practice.

The author team, R. Scott Kretchmar, Mark Dyreson, Matthew P. Llewellyn, and John Gleaves, offers philosophical and ethical analyses alongside explorations of changes in culture. The text follows a chronology of human movement from our origins as hunter-gatherers to the present. The authors blend their specific areas of expertise to present a thorough integration of philosophy and history, capitalizing on the strengths of both disciplines.

History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Activity examines sport and physical activity as a social force. Each chapter provides a historical scaffolding that leads into philosophical discussions about the issues raised. The content is compelling, effective, and accessible for readers.

Student exercise sidebars allow students to explore questions as they go, especially in relating philosophical inquiry to historical events. Historical profile sidebars throughout the chapters allow students to gain greater insight into historical figures and events. Ancillaries include an instructor guide, a presentation package, and a test package to help instructors make the most of the historical, philosophical, anthropological, and sociological issues presented in the book.

History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Activity is designed to reduce any gap that might exist between good ideas and sound professional behavior. Historical lessons and philosophical analyses are seamlessly integrated.

Readers will understand the intersection of history, culture, ideals, ethics, and professional practice from sport’s leading philosophers and historians.

Introduction: History, Philosophy, and Kinesiology

Evolution of Kinesiology

Humanities and the Sciences

Nature of History and Philosophy

Subject Matter of Kinesiology

Wrapping Up and Looking Ahead

Chapter 1: Bodies, Brains, and Cultures: Human Origins and the Riddles of Why People Run

Making Sense of Our Story

Developing a Brief Chronology of Our Story

Great Leaps Forward

Patterns of Culture in Hunter-Forager Societies

Origins of Sport

Work Versus Play

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 2: Transition From Endurance Predators to Farmers: The Birth of Civilizations

Revolution in the Ways We Lived

Impact of the Neolithic Revolution on Human Vigor and Health

Physical Activity as a Tool and a Jewel

Difficulties of Interpreting Ancient Sporting Cultures

Developing a Model of Traditional Sport

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 3: Ancient Greece and the Shape of Modern Sport and Physical Education: Power of the Past in the Present and Future

Foundation of Western Civilization

Myth, Religion, and the Origins of Greek Physical Culture

Birth of Philosophy

Ancient Sporting Festivals

Olympic Games

Greek Sporting Culture

Sources of Evidence for Ancient Greek Sport

Greek Recreation and Physical Education

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 4: Continuity and Change in Physical Cultures: From the Maturation and Decline of Classical Civilizations to the Middle Ages

Monuments to Sporting Spectacles

Comparing and Contrasting Mesoamerican and Roman Spectacles of Blood

Opposition to Gladiatorial Contests

Ethics of Brutality in Sport

Contrast and Continuity

Enduring Martial Arts Traditions

Religious and Intellectual Opposition to Martial Sports

Similarities and Differences in Eastern and Western Sport

Global Continuities and Contrasts

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 5: Expansion of the West and the Birth of the Modern World: Global Transformations of Physical Cultures

Birth of the Modern World

Renaissance, Neoclassical Revivals of Sport, and the Nature of Man

Emergence of Modern Debates on Human Nature

Protestant Reformation and Sport, Physical Education, and the Body

Scientific Revolution and Modern Attitudes Toward Sport, Physical Education, and the Body

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 6: Great Britain and the Birth of Modern Sports: Economic, Political, Social, and Cultural Revolutions

Sport as a Critical Modern Institution

Rationalization of Ethics and Utilitarianism

Rationalization and Gambling

Games for the Common Folk

Rationalization of Fair Play

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 7: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Development of Modern Sport

Emergence of Modern Sport

Liberty, Equality, and Morality

Role of Fraternity in Modern Sport

Fraternity, Partisanship, and Spectatorship

Fraternity, Partisanship, and Commercialism

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 8: Games and Empires

Paradoxical Power of Sports

Conquest, Colonialism, and the Spread of Western Sports

Sport in Its Best Light

Subaltern Dilemma

Sport as a Revolutionary Force

Sport, Colonialism, and American Imperialism

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 9: Rise of International Sport Worlds: Olympics, World Cup, and Other Competitions

Reviving the Olympic Games

Olympic Growing Pains

Social Exclusion and Other Harsh Realities of the Early Olympics

Globalization of Modern Sport

Sport in Black and White and Technicolor

Ethics of Commercialism

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 10: The West and the Rest: The Emergence of Critiques and Countercultures to Dominant Forms

Traditional and Indigenous Sport in an Age of Modernity

Western Appropriations of Eastern Muses

Effectiveness of Folk Psychology and Folk Medicine

Encounters with the “Other”

Holistic Kinesiology

Emergence of Countercultural Movement Practices

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 11: The Golden Age of Modern Sport


Cold War Sport

The Ethics of Performance Enhancement

Breaking Gender Barriers

The Cold War and the Politics of Race in American Sport

The Global Dimensions of Race and Sport

Sport in Living Color

Chapter Wrap-Up

Chapter 12: Snapshots From Our Times

Do Global Connections Create Global Identities?

Global Consumer Culture

The Emergences of New Global Forms of Sport

Chapter Wrap-Up

R. Scott Kretchmar, PhD, is a professor emeritus of exercise and sport science at Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. Kretchmar, a fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology, is a former president of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport and previously served as editor of the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. He has been named an Alliance Scholar by SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators) and a Distinguished Scholar by the National Association for Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education (NAKPEHE).

Mark Dyreson, PhD, is a professor of kinesiology and an affiliate professor of history at Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. Also a fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, he is a former president of the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH), an academic editor for the International Journal of the History of Sport, and the coeditor of the Sport in the Global Society: Historical Perspectives book series (Routledge Press).

Matthew P. Llewellyn, PhD, is an associate professor of kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton, and codirector of the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research. Llewellyn earned a PhD in historical and philosophical aspects of sport and physical activity at Pennsylvania State University. He is the current associate editor of the Journal of Sport History and the author of four books and over 30 scholarly articles on the history of sport and physical activity.

John Gleaves, PhD, is an associate professor of kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton. Gleaves is the codirector of both the International Network of Doping Research and the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research. He is also the associate editor for the journal Performance Enhancement and Health. His research and teaching focus on applied ethics and cultural history related to sport, physical activity, and society. Gleaves’ research has won several awards, including a Brocher Foundation fellowship.