The sociological outlook on Olympism and sport contained in this paper covered the ideas and notions of sport to a lesser extent than the actual state of affairs, that is, the condition of sport here and now. The sociological description of sport assumed that sport was an element of the modern society and contemporary culture. This perspective allowed the description and analysis of sport in terms which are employed by sociology, or more generally, by social sciences. This means that it was possible to reflect upon sport through paradigms, theories and trends of thought which are effectively used in attempts at sociological descriptions of modern societies.
The critical analysis of Olympism and contemporary sport, presented above, does not assert that Olympism and sport have run out of possibilities for further development. On the contrary, both Olympism and contemporary sport are the hope and the chance that a better future awaits communities, cultures, civilizations and humanity on a global scale. Furthermore, the threats and negative trends which emerge in sport should not remain concealed or underestimated, because they are of an objective character and have an effect on the whole of the humanistic power of sport. One should also realise that all the aforementioned negative phenomena and processes do not result from some kind of degeneration of sport as such, but are caused by general, external tendencies which penetrate sport through economic, financial, axiological, ethical and many other channels.
The more or less clear outline of the future of sport contained in this paper is of an alternative and exclusively probabilistic character. The future development of sport can take three different directions. Firstly, the future may bring out and strengthen all the tendencies which are already present in contemporary sport, such as dehumanisation, commercialisation, visualisation and medialisation. Secondly, there may emerge a global trend to force sport into the idealised frame of the past and make it become what it was after its foundations had been laid during the Hellenistic period, or rather, the way people remember it being. However, such inclinations towards general reconstruction usually emerge after radical developments which, for example, challenge sport as a cultural reality. Thirdly, the postmodernist ideals may be revived in one form or another, and while they will not necessarily alter the structure of sport, they will put the emphasis which results from certain trends and processes on some unspecified areas of sport consumption and the pursuit of maximal sensations and excitement in sport.
No ideals are immune to distortion when subjected to the process of materialisation. Ideals are not realised by perfect and metaphysical beings, but by humans made of flesh and bones and having both good and bad inclinations. Every person is socialised and moulded in a specific cultural and social reality which is never free from deviation and pathology. Similarly, there can be no sport, and that includes the Olympic movement, which could possibly remain an enclave of good and nobleness, a paradise on Earth, with a wall separating it from all the phenomena and processes that take place in contemporary societies. In a way, sport and the Olympic movement are bound to be penetrated by diverse phenomena and trends which have an impact on the spirit and image of sport.
There are no ideal societies nor is there ideal sport, free from deviation and pathology. It is thus totally impossible to accomplish the utopia of the Olympic movement and sport as a land of happy people, uninfluenced by phenomena and processes which are characteristic of modern societies. There can be no world without individuals who breach cultural models, norms and values, no world without deviants and swindlers. Nevertheless, this unattainable utopia has to be pursued, because in the pursuit, people can achieve a lot to improve the axionormative order in sport as well as social life in all its aspects.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Anderson B. (1997). Wspólnoty wyobrażone/Imagined Communities/. Cracow: Znak.
Bauman Z. (1995). Wieloznaczność nowoczesności - nowoczesność wieloznaczności /The Ambiguity of Modernity - The Modernity of Ambiguity/. Warsaw: PWN.
Comte A. (1973). Rozprawa o duchu filozofii pozytywnej /Dissertation on the Spirit of Positive Philosophy/. Warsaw.
Dahrendorf R. (1990). The Modern Social Conflict. Berkeley: The University of California Press.
Drucker P. (1993). Post-Capitalist Society. New York: Harper.
Durkheim E. (2000). Zasady metody socjologicznej /The Principles of the Sociological Method/. Warsaw: PWN.
Fromm E. (1963). The Sane Society. London: Routledge&Kegan Paul.
Fukuyama F. (1992). The End of History and Last Man. New York: Free Press.
Giddens A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Huizinga J. (1985). Homo ludens. Zabawa jako źródło kultury /The Play as the Source of Culture/. Warsaw: Czytelnik.
Huntington S. (1968). Political Order in Changing Societies. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Inglehart R. (1990). Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Kosiewicz J. (2007). Czy igrzyska olimpijskie są czymś więcej niż sportem. /Are the Olympic Games anything more than Sport? In J. Kosiewicz (Ed.) Społeczne i kulturowe wartości sportu /Social and Cultural Values of Sport/. Warsaw: AWF.
Krawczyk Z. (Ed.) (1997). Encyklopedia kultury polskiej XX wieku. Kultura fizyczna sport /The Encyclopaedia of the Polish Twentieth-Century Culture. Physical Culture sport/. Warsaw: IK.
Lipiec J. (1999). Filozofia olimpizmu /The Philosophy of Olympism/. Warsaw: Sprint.
Lipiec J. (2007). Pożegnanie z Olimpią /A Farwell to Olympia/. Cracow: Fall.
Lipoński W. (2001). Encyklopedia sportów świata /The Encyclopaedia of Word Sports/. Poznań: Atena.
Maffesoli M. (1996). Times of the Tribes. The Decline of Individualism in Mass Society. London: Sage.
Marks K. (1966). Dzieła /Works/. vol. 13 Warsaw: KiW.
Merton R. (1996). Social structure and anomie. In P. Sztompka (Ed.) R. Merton on Social Structure and Science. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Miller S. (2006). Starożytni olimpijczycy /Ancient Olympic Athlets/. Warsaw: PiW.
Pawłucki A. (2003). Podmiot olimpizmu wobec prowokacji ponowoczesności. /The Subject of Olympism towards the Provocation of Modernity/. In Z. Dziubiński (Ed.) Społeczny wymiar sportu /The Social Dimension of Sport/. Warsaw: SALOS RP.
Sztompka P. (2005). Socjologia. Analiza społeczeństwa /Sociology. The Analysis of Society/. Cracow: Znak.
Tonnies F. (2008). Wspólnota i stowarzyszenie /Community and Association/. Warsaw: PWN.
Weber M. (1975). Trzy czyste typy prawomocnego panowania /Three Types of Legitimate Rule/. In W. Derczyński A. Jasińska-Kania J. Szacki (Ed.) Elementy teorii socjologicznych. Materiały do dziejów współczesnej socjologii zachodniej /The Elements of Sociological Theories. Maerials for the History of Contemporary Western Sociology/. Warsaw: PWN.
Weber M. (2002). Gospodarka i społeczeństwo. Zarys socjologii rozumiejącej /Economy and Society. The Outline of the Understaning Sociology/. Warsaw: PWN.
Zuchora K. (1996). Dalekie i bliskie krajobrazy sportu /Distant and Close Landscapes of Sport/. Warsaw: WSiP.
Żukowska Z. (Ed.) (1996). Fair play sport edukacja. /Fair play sport education/. Warsaw: PTNKF.