22495_9780761943518About This Book 

Why are sport stars central to celebrity culture? What are the implications of their fame?

Proceeding from a broadly based discussion of heroism, fame and celebrity, Smart addresses a number of prominent modern sports and sport stars, including Michael Jordan (basketball), David Beckham (football), Tiger Woods (golf), Anna Kournikova and the Williams sisters (tennis).

He analyses the development of modern sport in the UK and USA, demonstrating the key economic and cultural factors that have contributed to the popularity of sport stars, while examining issues such as race and gender, the impact of professionalization, growing media coverage, the role of agents and the increasing presence of commercial corporations providing sponsorship and endorsement contracts.


This book situates the sport star as the embodiment of the various tensions of age, class, race, gender and culture. It argues that sporting figures possess an increasingly rare quality of authenticity that gives them the capacity to lift and inspire people. The book is a major contribution to the sociology and culture of sport and celebrity.
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Table of Contents 

Heroism, Fame and Celebrity in the World of Sport
The Development of Modern Sport in Britain and America
The Professionalization of Modern Sport
Media, Sponsorship and Sport Stardom
Corporate Culture and the Branding of the Sport Star
/f003Nike/f001, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods
Cultures of Sport Stardom
David Beckham and Anna Kournikova
Concluding Remarks
Sport Stars, Authenticity and Charisma
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Web Extra

Related Journal Articles:
Sport and Cultural Reification: From Ritual to Mass Consumption 
John Alt, Theory, Culture & Society, Jan 1983; vol. 1: pp. 93 – 107.
Sport, Celebrity and Popular Culture: Sachin Tendulkar, Cricket and Indian Nationalisms 
Abilash Nalapat and Andrew Parker, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Dec 2005; vol. 40: pp. 433 – 446.
Sport Star Vs Rock Star in Globalizing Popular Culture: Similarities, Difference and Paradox in Discussion of Celebrities 
Heejoon Chung, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Mar 2003; vol. 38: pp. 99 – 108.
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Other Books on the Topic 

Examining Identity in Sports Media 
Heather L. Hundley and Andrew C. Billings
Key Concepts in Sport and Exercise Sciences 
David Kirk, Carlton Cooke, Anne Flintoff and Jim McKenna
Handbook of Sports Studies 
Jay Coakley and Eric Dunning
Globalization and Sport 
Toby Miller, Geoffrey A. Lawrence, Jim McKay, David Rowe
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Other Books by the Author 

Handbook of Social Theory 
with George Ritzer. SAGE Publications Ltd, 2001.
Resisting McDonaldization 
SAGE Publications Ltd, 1999.
Facing Modernity 
Ambivalence, Reflexivity and Morality
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Author Bio 

Barry Smart is Professor of Sociology at the University of Portsmouth. He was editor of the Social Futures book series with Routledge and is a co-editor of the monograph series on Social and Political Thought published by Liverpool University Press. He has published in a wide range of prestigious journals such as Theory, Culture & Society, European Journal of Social Theory, Body & Society, International Sociology, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Thesis Eleven and the Journal of Classical Sociology. He is currently a member of the editorial boards of Theory, Culture and Society, European Journal of Social Theory, Journal of Classical Sociology and International Journal of Japanese Sociology. 
Full profile and list of publications 

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