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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Charisma of Sport and Race

  • Author(s): Early, Gerald
  • Solomon, Eric
  • Wacquant, Loic
  • et al.

This Occasional Paper explores the importance of both charisma and performance in the analysis of sport(s). Professor Loic Waquant argues that the "universe of sport is not the world of charisma but the world of persona;" athletes are performers who wear masks. For Gerald Early, sport offers grounds on which to examine race, masculinity, and even more broadly, the "symbols and metaphors of our society;" it is about merit, justice, desire and will. Eric Solomon argues that the lore and "deep mythology" of baseball has played an important part in the lives of Jewish immigrants, inspiring not only players but writers and artists as well, for many of the above theorized reasons. What emerges in all these papers is that the study of sport is important and must be taken seriously.

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