As athletes strive for the Olympic Gold this summer in London, Anthropology News takes an anthropological look into the Games.
Jules Boykoff and Thomas F. Carter identify the various dynamics host cities experience in preparation for and during the Olympic Games in their Anthropology News article The Olympics and Its Discontents. From economics and security to commercialization and relinquishment of sovereignty, complying with the needs and desires of the International Olympic Committee isn’t an easy task. Here is an excerpt:
The Olympics bring together top athletes from around the world to compete on a global stage under the warm glow of the international media spotlight. Boosters not only hail the Games as the apex of sporting prowess, but also as a vehicle for urban regeneration, economic development, and international goodwill. Yet historically the evidence for such claims is circumstantial at best. Throughout the history of the Games, critics continuously question the logic of the Olympic movement, with all its attendant promises and spectacular practices. Activists regularly challenge the economics of Olympic funding and how that ties to security issues, the increasingly hyper-commercialized nature of the Games, and the role of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a sovereign power. The London 2012 Olympics provide a useful lens for understanding these dynamics.
Read the entire article on Anthropology News.
Read more Olympic articles in the new online summer edition of Anthropology News.