Опубликовано на портале: 08-08-2007Susan Birrell Social Forces. 1981. Vol. 60. No. 2. P. 354-376.
The thesis is presented that sport is an important societal phenomenon because of its ritualistic overtones. The significance of sport as a ritual is based on the status of the athlete as exempla y role incumbent with power to mediate between the individuals zoho comprise the audience and the moral order of the community. Theoretical support is derived by a synthesis of Durkheim's social theoy of religion and Gofian's theo y of interaction ritual. Sporting incidents singled out and applauded by the media as examples of heroic action are used to support the idea that athletes are significant social figures because they are capable of representing important societal values, i.e., courage, gameness, integrity, and poise.