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The changing nature of the ideology of Olympism in the modern Olympic era

posted on 05.06.2007, 10:00 by D. Chatziefstathiou
This thesis has sought to identify and evaluate the changing nature of the ideology of Olympism in the modern era against the contemporaneous historical, sociopolitical and economic contexts, as expressed through the writings of key sets of actors. The theoretical approaches of modernisation, cultural imperialism and globalisation were chosen on the basis of assisting the author to understand global phenomena and conceptualise global shifts. This study examined the emergence, development and expansion of Olympism during Coubertin’s years (1887-1937). It continued with the struggle for survival through the period of the two World Wars and the start of the Cold War during Diem’s years (1912-1961) (part of which chronologically overlapped with the last period of Coubertin’s analysis). And finally, it concluded with the escalation and the end of the Cold War, followed by a new era for the global economic and political interests, as evidenced in guest lectures of the IOA in relation to Olympism and the modern Olympic Movement (1961-1998). It adopted a critical realist ontology and epistemology, and employed the Ethnographic Content Analysis (ECA) derived from Altheide (1996), a variation of the Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA). This study demonstrated how the values associated with the ideology of Olympism have changed during the period of one hundred and eleven years (1887-1998), while, having highlighted the culturally diverse meanings and values associated with Olympic sport in the contemporary world, it emphasised that Olympism may be defined, not as a set of immutable values, but as a process for consensus construction in terms of values in the world of global sport.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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A Doctoral Thesis Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University

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