All our research is curated and peer-reviewed giving you access to an unmatched library of information all in one place.

Representations of Sport in the Revolutionary Socialist Press in Britain, 1988–2012

This paper considers how sport presents a dualism to those on the far left of the political spectrum. A long-standing, passionate debate has existed on the contradictory role played by sport, polarised between those who reject it as a bourgeois capitalist plague and those who argue for its reclamation and reformation. A case study is offered of a political party that has consistently used revolutionary Marxism as the basis for its activity and how this party, the largest in Britain, addresses sport in its publications. The study draws on empirical data to illustrate this debate by reporting findings from three socialist publications. When sport did feature it was often in relation to high profile sporting events with a critical tone adopted and typically focused on issues of commodification, exploitation and alienation of athletes and supporters. However, readers’ letters, printed in the same publications, revealed how this interpretation was not universally accepted, thus illustrating the contradictory nature of sport for those on the far left.