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Civil Associativism and the Historical Emergence of Modern Sport: A Dialogue with Stefan Szymanski


The objective of this essay is to analyze the role of associativism as a structuring variable for understanding the development of modern sport, mainly through a dialogue with Stefan Szymanski’s theory. The aim is to provoke a debate about the causalities hegemonically used in the field of sports history, which seek to explain the historical emergence of the sports phenomenon. Some examples from the Brazilian context are mobilized to highlight the role of associativism as a determining element in this process. We concludes that despite the evident impacts of the products of modernity on the historical development of sports, civil associations can be considered an important interpretive key for understanding how the emergence of various sports events throughout the national territory took place.

Sport History; Associativism; Modernity; Sports Clubs; Associative Culture

Programa de Pós-Graduação em História Social da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Largo de São Francisco de Paula, n. 1., CEP 20051-070, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Tel.: (55 21) 2252-8033 R.202, Fax: (55 21) 2221-0341 R.202 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil