The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: Olympic Games Issue

  1. Beyond the Olympic Spectacle: Displacement for Development

    As the first South American host, the 2016 Olympics in Rio are eagerly anticipated as an opportunity to attract tourists and business, as well as providing employment and training to assist the city’s economic growth. However, beyond the spectacle and perceived benefits of the event lies a darker interpretation, which implies that the Olympic games are an opportunity for cities to justify removing the poor to enable the accumulation of capital. The large-scale and forced displacement of Rio’s informal ‘favela’ settlements demonstrates how Olympic development enables cities to justify the removal of undesirable, poor and marginalised groups. After hosting the…

  2. Olympic Legacies: Culture vs. Sport

    The notion of an ‘Olympic Legacy’ is often invoked to reiterate the longevity and importance of the global sporting event. The prestige of the games and celebrity of the athletes lodge in the imagination of the audience, promising a summer of sporting celebration that will aim to inspire a new generation of athletes and encourage even the laziest of us to take up a new sport. However, whilst sport seems the most obvious of Olympic legacies, it would seem that in the long term, cultural projects running alongside the Olympic Games provide another layer of continuity. In fact cultural legacies…

  3. Sport: A Tool of Colonial Control for the British Empire

    Sport, as we know it, found its roots in the British Empire. Many of today’s most popular sports including cricket, football and tennis, were organised and codified by the British in the nineteenth century.[1] However, assessing the motivations behind this vast programme of sporting dissemination still remains relatively under-explored. This is puzzling considering that the spread of sports was a key branch of cultural imperialism, much like the spread of Christianity across the colonies. Sport, like religion, provided an opportunity for Britain to take cultural control of her Empire, whilst also encouraging British attitudes towards class and race to spread….

  4. The Olympic Games: A Matter of Commercialisation and (Over) Conformity?

    With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games now just a few months away, it is time to ask the critical questions of who will benefit from the Games, and crucially, whether we can trust the athletes who compete. Sport has never been more popular. As a result, there has never been such a desire among multi-million pound companies and enterprises to claim a stake in what was once seen as a simple pastime that could enhance one’s health and well-being on a physical, psychological, and social level. Subsequently, the extrinsic benefit from sporting success has never been greater. Inevitably this has resulted…