Wednesday, April 1, 2009: 1:45 PM-3:00 PM
Tampa Convention Center: 7-8
|Presider:||T. Gilmour Reeve, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA|
|Speaker:||Jay Coakley, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, CO|
Elite, organized, competitive sports are the most visible and pervasive forms of sponsored physical activity in most societies today. This creates an interesting paradox: sports are highly visible and valued activities at the same time that there are low rates of physical fitness and regular participation in physical activities and sports. In this lecture, Dr. Jay Coakley, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, explains how sports have been used to foster neoliberal ideology as a basis for an economic doctrine, a political project, a cultural orientation, and an organizing principle. As this has occurred, physical activities and sports for the sake of joy and the common good have been replaced by a physical culture organized around the ethos of elite, organized, competitive, commercial sports. Informal play and games as well as neighborhood-based public programs dedicated to wellness and teaching sport skills have been replaced by private programs, club sports, and high performance personal training. The neoliberal emphasis on the free market, deregulation, privatization, competition, individual responsibility, the pursuit of self-interest, and the functions of inequality has undermined the vitality of community, collective activity, social responsibility, and the common good. However, as commitment to neoliberal ideology wanes, those concerned with health and fitness will have opportunities to reclaim physical activities and sports as part of the public sphere. Similarly, there will be opportunities to alter funding priorities to support physical activities in forms other than elite, organized, competitive sports. Strategies for producing such changes are identified.
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