Australia is only a small player in the world's political and economic landscapes, yet, for many decades, it has been considered to be a global powerhouse in terms of its sporting successes. In conjunction with this notion, the nation has long been portrayed as having a preoccupation with sport. This labelling has been seen as both a blessing and a curse. Those who value a Bourdieuian view of culture bemoan sport's centrality to the national imagination and the consequent lack of media coverage, funding and prestige accorded to the arts. Other scholars question whether the popular stereotype of the Australian sportsperson is, in fact, a myth and that instead Australians are predominantly passive sport consumers rather than active sport participants.
Australian sport, through its successes on the field of play and in advancing sport coaching and management, has undergone a revolution, as both an enabler of global processes and as subject to its influences (economic, political, migratory etc.). This book will examine the shifting place of Australian sports in current global and local environs, from the perspective of spectators, players and administrators.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Sport in Society.
Kristine Toohey is Professor in Sport Management at Griffith University, Australia. Tracy Taylor is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Business, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.