Sports Has Different Meanings For Different People And Across Societies

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Sports have different meanings for different people and across societies (Laker 2001:4). The way one engages in sports is influenced by the cultural or ethnic group to which one belongs (Sever 2005:4). Even though the rules of sport may stay constant, meanings diverge and are varied (Besnier and Brownell 2012). Sports serves as one of the most contested and celebrated institutions in our society (Appleby and Foster 2013:1). As a result, it will be impossible to fully understand contemporary society without acknowledging the place of sports (Jarvie 2006:2). The body transformed from being a biological entity to a cultural body since the 1980s to help understand the complexities of the body in sports (Besnier and Brownell 2012). Sports is a generic term that has been defined differently to suit various situations. Having an understanding that, sports serves as an institution and also as an element of culture, is vital to informed participation in contemporary democratic societies (Blanchard 1995). Historically, the ideology of sports has been a contested terrain for women it is shown by the unavailability of sports events for women in the early 20th century (Appleby and Foster 2013; Messner 1994: 65). Sports was only considered in the 1980s as a modern invention which focuses on cultural practices that is regarded as pre-modern. In the nineteenth century two sports forms emerged from Europe and this linked sports with masculinity, nationalism and colonial aspirations (Besnier

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