Go Canada! The 2016 Rio Olympics are well underway and the whole world seems to be cheering on their athletes. We would like to invite you to look deeper into the history and sociology of the Olympics and sports in general. Perhaps some of these titles would make for good post-event reading.
By M. Ann Hall
The Girl and the Game traces the history of women's organized sport in Canada from its early, informal roots in the late nineteenth century through the formation of amateur and professional teams to today's tendency to market women athletes, especially Olympians, as both athletic and sexual. When women actively participate in the symbols, practices, and institutions of sport, what they do is often not considered "real" sport, nor in some cases are they viewed as "real" women. What follows from this notion of sport as a site of cultural struggle is that the history of women in sport is also a history of cultural resistance.
In the second edition of this groundbreaking social history, M. Ann Hall begins with an important new chapter on Aboriginal women and early sport and ends with a new chapter tying today's trends and issues in Canadian women's sport to their origins in the past.
By Richard Menkis and Harold Troper
Held in Germany, the 1936 Olympic Games sparked international controversy. Should athletes and nations boycott the games to protest the Nazi regime? More Than Just Games is the history of Canada’s involvement in the 1936 Olympics. It is the story of the Canadian Olympic officials and promoters who were convinced that national unity and pride demanded that Canadian athletes compete in the Olympics without regard for politics. It is the story of those Canadian athletes, mostly young and far more focused on sport than politics, who were eager to make family, friends, and country proud of their efforts on Canada’s behalf. And, finally, it is the story of those Canadians who led an unsuccessful campaign to boycott the Olympics and deny Nazi Germany the propaganda coup of serving as an Olympic host.
Written by two noted historians of Canadian Jewish history, Richard Menkis and Harold Troper, More than Just Games brings to life the collision of politics, patriotism, and the passion of sport on the eve of the Second World War.
Edited by Russell Field
For more than forty years, scholars of the history and sociology of sport and recreation have studied how, no matter the time or place, sport is always more than just a game. In Playing for Change, leading scholars in the field of sports studies consider that legacy and forge ahead into the discipline’s future. Through essays grouped around the themes of international and North American sport, including the Vancouver and Sochi Olympic Games; access to physical activity in Canadian communities; and the role of activism and the public intellectual in the delivery of sport, the contributors offer a comprehensive examination of the institutional structures of sport, physical activity, and recreation. This book provides wide-ranging examples of cutting-edge research in a vibrant and growing field.