Previous Page Return to main page Next Page

Chapter 12: Conflict and Violence (DD)


Today is the summer school sports day so there is no regular assignment. However I do think you could take seriously the suggestion that modern sports are in some sense a substitution for traditional forms of inter-group rivalry and aggression. You can take examples from the sports culture of your home country, and pay particular attention to nationally specific details that may give more general insight into the culture. For example, those of you from England might consider the suggestion that fox hunting is an equivalent of the Spanish bullfight. Is the aesthetic appreciation of violence in a culture in any way related to the propensity of its members to practise violence against each other? Think of examples from your own countries of ways in which culture can work to prevent escalation of violence.

The afternoon was hot and the students were slow to get started. First there was a disagreement between the Europeans and the North Americans over whether to play soccer or baseball. When this had been settled there was a second row over how to organise the teams, and in particular, whether girls could play in the same team as boys. Eventually the Professor intervened and selected two teams on an alphabetical basis. They ran around furiously for an hour. Ania tried hard to explain soccer's 'offside' rule to Tom. The evident failure of globalisation in this case was a puzzle. A few players seemed to take the game a bit too seriously and one, an American called Marek, even had to be sent off. There was clearly something universal in the passions that these team sports could generate, at least among the boys.

Everyone enjoyed their Zywiec beer afterwards.

Figure 30:  An exciting moment in the soccer game

Previous Page Return to main page Next Page