The Olympic Games: A Critical Approach

Helen Jefferson Lenskyj
University of Toronto, Canada

Product Details
15 Apr 2020
Emerald Publishing Limited
264 pages - 129 x 198mm
Do the Olympic Games really live up to their glowing reputation? As the biggest global sport mega-event, the Olympics command public attention, while Olympic mythology obscures their underlying function as a profit-making business. Unlike terms such as 'Olympic movement' and 'Olympic family', the concept of 'Olympic industry' focuses on sport as an economic and political enterprise, with its beneficiaries including sponsors, media rights holders, developers, and politicians. Negative impacts on host cities disproportionately threaten the lives and well-being of disadvantaged minorities. Citizens' Olympic resistance campaigns address a range of human rights abuses, while recent athlete activism also focuses on the doping problem and the sexual abuse of girls and women. Female athletes with 'differences of sexual development' face discriminatory gender policies that disqualify them from women's events. All of these issues are analysed through a feminist, anti-racist lens.
Chapter 1. Introduction and Background 
Chapter 2. Olympic Resistance
Chapter 3. 'Sport and Politics Don't Mix'
Chapter 4. Olympic Industry Impacts
Chapter 5. Reform: 'To Restore Reputation'
Chapter 6. Athletes, Politics, and Protest
Chapter 7. 'Educating Youth Through Sport'
Chapter 8. Athletes' Rights, Athletes' Lives
Chapter 9. Gender Policies: Challenges and Responses
Chapter 10. The Olympics: 'Not a Welfare Program but a Business Venture'
Helen Jefferson Lenskyj is Professor Emerita, University of Toronto. Her work as a researcher and activist on gender and sport issues began in the 1980s, and her critiques of the Olympic industry include Inside the Olympic Industry and Olympic Industry Resistance.

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