Sport and Tourism Between Modernity and Postmodernity

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The text presents and analyses manifestations of modernity and postmodernity in the field of competitive and recreational sport, physical education, leisure, and tourism. The paper builds upon an extensive literature survey and presents the concept and key features of postmodern societies and the modernity-postmodernity debate in sports with reference to postmodern tendencies in tourism. We have attempted to determine the proportions of tradition, modernity, and postmodernity in contemporary sport and tourism, keeping in mind that, similarly to contemporary societies as a whole, sport is undoubtedly a mixture of traditional, modern, and Fordist elements with postmodern and post-Fordist features. We present and discuss the prevailing belief that the key elements of leisure sport are mostly postmodern and focused on the notion of individualisation and freedom expressed especially in alternative sports, while commercialised mainstream sport follows the regular mass-media show-business development path, maintaining a significant amount of modern concepts, such as the importance of national identities. Special attention is also paid to the Olympic Games as a specific and very efficient mixture of modernity and postmodernity. More so than at any point in the past, and despite the actual proportions of modernity and postmodernity that it contains, contemporary sport has become an integral part of postmodern societies and their lifestyle, with technology-determined individualisation of sport consumption and leisure sport participation.

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