The Particular and the Universal – Indigenous Sports for the Integrity of the Global Village

A short presentation during the

2017 国际体育历史与文化学术大会/2017 International Conference on Sports History and Culture:
全球化与民族化:亚洲民族传统体育文化的传承与发展/Globalization and Nationalization: Inheritance and Development of Indigenous Sports Culture in Asia

is now online.


Can we speak of a tension between particular andreflections that shed some light on the relationship. The reference is not primarily the analysis of the status quo. Reference is made to the potentiality in the understanding of a ‘Marxist existentialism’, searching for what is possible, i.e. what is inherent in the reality. Four strands of contemporary debates on societal development are taken as lines of reference:

· Commons as social process
· Commons as non-commodifiable goods
· Commons as right
· Commons as constitutive factor of shared space

Indigenous sports can be seen as one elementary dimension of such constitutive constellation – also presenting the tension between conflict and harmony.

Conclusions will concern the perspectives for societal action for developing emancipative strategies around indigenous sports.

Sports – Shaping Urban Social Spaces

Social Inclusion – Social Exclusion: Physical Exercise as Means between Strengthening Individuals and Integration into Collectivities – Shaping Urban Social Spaces

had been the title of the presentation I gave during the

2015 Annual Conference of the International Journal of the History of Sports — Sport, Urbanization and Social Stratification in Asian Society which took place on November 27th – 28th in Nanchang, China.


Physical exercise, beyond the mere physical aspect, is very much a social construct. But moreover it is also a means of constructing the social and as such it can be used in different ways. The presentation, taking a broad comparative perspective, will reflect on two major possibilities: we may call the one social inclusion as subordination and we can look at the other as matter of social inclusion by strengthening individuals. – This also allows us developing an understanding of new dangers of exclusion in the era of liquid modernity.

The audio of the presentation can be found here, and here are the related slides of the presentation.



Sports – Urbanisation and Social Stratification

Leaving teaching and coping with life aside (well, who can say the latter is easy in a world of which modernity is not just liquid but where liquidity seems to wash away human rights on all levels – I am not writing this because I am in China!! Or perhaps I am writing it because I am here, seeing also many unexpected “white washers” coming here with their incredible “suggestions”), I am preparing the presentation for the end of this week:

The annual conference of the International Journal of the History of Sport (IJHS), taking place at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang, China during the weekend of 27 – 28 November 2015. The conference is jointly organized by the IJHS and the School of Sports at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, China. The core themes are around Urbanization and Social Stratification.

Now I face the challenge to look for the key (I guess that is the meaning of key notes). And I am wondering if this is not very much about overcoming the limited understanding that remains frequently left out when talking about inclusion and also urbanisation.

  • The one aspect is that we discuss inclusion too often without (sufficiently) considering integrity as dialectical/relational issue and part and parcel of inclusion – and of course, with this we have to look also at the contradictions.
  • These may highlight, coming to the second aspect, that urbanisation is not just about space. Perhaps space is as such even the least important aspect, the multiple identities being the foundation that merges into the melting pot as which societies and parts thereof are frequently seen – but while we talk about such melting pots we still, and increasingly act along the ideas of gated communities.

Good stews need a recipe – it is not just throwing different stuff into a pot; and it is not about trying to separate them afterwards again …

Well, some desk work to be done, not allowing much exercise though …. – but such thinking is a bit like chess, and chess is sports, right?

Guess you can read at some stage about it in the International Journal of the History of Sport.