The growing economic and cultural
importance of modern sport, especially after the 1980s, with the contributions
of studies promoted by various sociologists such as Eric Dunning, Allen
Guttmann, Jean-Marie Brohm and Pierre Bourdieu, has led to the emergence of
various models of analysis.
In many of these analytical spheres, modernity is valued as the scenario that made possible the diffusion and propagation of sports images. Popularized, practices have become a synthetically shaped product for the entertainment industry. The sporting spectacle presents itself as a contemporary aspect, of great and particular relevance to mass and consumer culture, although devoid of the original values, among which the spirit of Olympics can be highlighted.
A first assertion in this question is the elucidation of sports activity understood as modern. Modernity is often understood as an idea or worldview that is related to the world project undertaken at various times throughout the Modern Age and consolidated with the Industrial Revolution. It is usually related to the development of capitalism.
It is a style, a custom of life or social organization that emerged in Europe from the seventeenth century and later became more or less worldwide in its influence. Some features existing in modernity that were absent in traditional civilizations are identified in the rhythm of change – which, in the modern condition, occur with extreme rapidity – with a clear reflection on ideological aspects.
Speed and communication are two words that generate the global transformations of the period, with the apparent feeling in the modern fabled world that in order to develop man needs this frantic pace.
Such changes would have been motivated by social transformations across the earth’s surface. There is also a link with the intrinsic nature of hitherto nonexistent modern institutions, such as the political system of the nation state, the complete transformation of goods and services into commodities, and the dependence on the production of inanimate energy sources, which interfere.
A scholar who contributes to the understanding of the concept of modernity and its characteristics, Rouanet (1993) refers to the thoughts of Max Weber in indicating the obligation to study the theme. He appropriates the concept of rationalization to explain the innovations in traditional society.
Modernization mainly means increased efficiency. Even when other values seem to be at stake, such as democracy or the autonomy of reason, what lurks behind them is always a more effective performance of the economic, political or cultural system.
Modernity sought to implant the realm of reason in the world – myths, witches and ghosts were rejected, disenchanted. Science, morals, and art are liberated from the universe and religious, whose values are now autonomous. But Rouanet’s great contribution focuses on the analysis of modernity from the perspective of economic, political and cultural effectiveness.
Idleness is now frowned upon and all planning aims to make full use of the time. In modernity, the rationalization of life was greatly praised, and from this thought arises industrial capitalism, whose interior carries the growth of the economy through technological development. During its trajectory, the sports sphere underwent numerous transformations and was the target of many other interpretations, whether focusing on leisure, pedagogical practice or mass consumption of a sports show.
The origin of modern sport is closely linked with the consolidation of the capitalist mode of production and bourgeois ideology. It’s also connected with legit betting sites. At the time, it was introduced the exact measurement of the athletes’ results and the comparison of the performance in different occasions, fact that was not contemplated in the old competitions. Transformations also occurred in the way athletes prepared for the events, that is, the performance of the organism began to be treated from a technical-scientific apparatus. Sport abstractly materialized human performance, competitiveness, and the desire for triumph.