Sport and leisure in African countries: political and social

junio 14, 2012 – junio 16, 2012

COORDINADORES: Prof. Dr. Augusto Nascimento | Prof. Dr. Marcelo Bittencourt


The objective of this thematic panel is to create a debate forum for researchers who have looked at the importance and the peculiarities of sport and leisure practices in the African continent. For many years, sport and leisure were seen as an arena exempt from politics, as an object of lesser importance. This setting started changing in the 1960s and in the 1980s the interpretation of such practices became more frequent. They started being seen as polysemic phenomena and as arenas of negotiation between the constituted power and others, between the State and different popular groups. It is currently perceived that sport and leisure are considered relevant objects for the complex understanding of the relations between the local and the global, exogenous impositions and processes of ressignification. The interest for the presence of sport in the African continent is also growing, even because of the singularities in the late process of (the idea of) nation building which part of the African countries underwent. This attention is also related to the fact that the sport practice presents itself as one of the main forums for the positive projection of young African nations, providing discourse resources both exogenous (international recognition in a “non-official” but highly visible means) and endogenous (self identification factors) for the making of national identities. There is certainly an important debate over the meaning of the adoption (or imposition, according to the point of view) of sport practices and leisure in the African continent: control strategy or alternative for resistance? It seems difficult to deny that the development of sport was framed by colonial intentions. However, it not only failed to achieve total success, but also produced unforeseen effects. The challenge, therefore, is in understanding that it is a compound process in which control and resistance would be present in historically variable proportions, which would not encompass the whole social meaning of sport. This process continues in the post-colonial scenery, not necessarily reduced to the political frames left by colonialism. In this context, due to all mentioned motives, sport and leisure practices have been established as objects which demand the attention of scholars.


Idiomas: Português | Español

Formato: Mesa Redonda

Información del panel

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