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Sports ideology and formation of the individual: contributions from the Critical Theory of Sports. This paper presents the debate undertaken in the mids in France, by the theoretical and political movement called Critical Theory of Sports.
This perspective came amid the emerging cultural climate in that period, marked by criticism of existing institutions and proposed the unveiling of the elements underlying the hegemony of sports ideology in culture, particularly in the media, clubs and schools. The text presents the main arguments of its creators, especially those designed by Jean-Marie Brohm, bringing their concerns with contributions from authors that marked the first generation of Critical Theory of Society, notably Theodor W.
Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Hebert Marcuse. The test focuses on the criticism leveled by the authors in order to understand the fundamentals of the sports movement, conceived as a cultural object of wide spread and importance to the formation of the individual under the aegis of capitalism. Adorno, Max Horkheimer e Hebert Marcuse. Adorno, Max Horkheimer et Herbert Marcuse. Adorno, Max Horkheimer y Hebert Marcuse.
The deafening uproar of the mass bedazzled by the carefully planned pyrotechnics, the glamorous parades of renowned sports icons during the opening of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, in , as well as in the soccer World Cup, held in Brazil in , followed by watchful eyes of billions of television viewers around the planet, leave no trace of doubt about the impact that sporting events have on contemporary everyday life.
The fleeting moments of collective numbness, provided at the cost of billions of dollars, meet, among other things, at least three clear objectives: operate the dissimulation of the everyday barbarism that affects the lives of common men who inhabit the cities and countrysides of different countries; increase profit of powerful multinational corporations, responsible for large urban transformations of cities of hosting countries and for the production of consumer goods associated with the sports ideals; deviate the attention of a large portion of the population from the atrocities committed against freedom and human dignity, such as restrictions on access to information or the exercise of repression against political opposition movements.
Accordingly, the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are analogous to other mass sporting events, such as the Olympic Games in , which took place in Berlin during the Nazi rise, to the soccer World Cups in , held in Mexico, and in , in Argentina, the latter two occurred amidst the atrocities committed by military dictatorships in Brazil and in Argentina, and to the Moscow Olympic Games in , held concurrently with the deportation of politicians that opposed the totalitarian regime to the forced labor camps - the gulags.
Considering the importance of the sports movement in contemporary society, the aim of this text is to present the discussion undertaken by the Critical Theory of Sport, theoretical and political perspective that is critical of the hegemony of sports ideology 1 in culture, developed in France in the mids.
Another aim is to present the contributions from authors of Critical Theory of Society, especially T. Adorno and M. Horkheimer, for the understanding of some of the associations between the formation of the individual, the contemporary sports movement, capitalism, and social domination. Due to the breadth of the research project undertaken by the Critical Theory of Sport, this text was organized into topics that seek to express their main contributions. The group kept close contacts with the International Communist organization.
The influence from Freudian-Marxist theses would mark deeply all the movement led by Jean-Marie Brohm, becoming the central axis of a long theoretical production that would be prominent for virulent criticism of the sports institution. According to its authors, sport would have the function of conveying the dominant ideologies, their structures, their imagery, and their myths.
The radical criticism of sport, after May , undertakes the political clash, denouncing the ideological use of sport by the State.
During this period, the then Minister of Youth, M. Roland Nungesser, suggests the expansion of sports movement as an antidote to the dissolution of morals, a struggle against the moral disintegration of the Nation. This position was widely criticized by the authors who gathered around the Partisans journal. The journal developed, among other topics, a production that was virulent and critical of the sports phenomenon, understood as a total social fact, occupying various spheres of the social organization - political, economic, social, legal and demographic institutions Arnoud, However, in the mids, this orientation is weakened, especially through the rise of culturalist theoretical perspectives in France, as well as due to the criticism of its formulations, considered unilateral because they would not have taken into account, according to its detractors, the human and emancipative potential of sport, such as fair play 2 and the importance of the emergence of new models of social relations.
The Quel Corps? According to Ardoino , the perspective fostered by leftist currents, in France and in Germany, during the period from to the mids, aimed at deciphering and denouncing the evils carried out by the structures defined in culture that by praise of sports virtue, of ambition of performance, promote the maintenance of social order and establish a naturalization of the sports movement as something timeless and trans-historical.
Such theoretical orientation is based on a triple influence: Marx, the Frankfurt School, and Freud. It is also based on the theoretical production developed by the institutional analysis and on Reich, regarding the body Ardoino, , p.
Such theoretical production aims to present a series of reflections that would seek to understand the significance and the social, economic, psychosocial and educational implications that affect our society, as a result of this major phenomenon present in the culture. According to Brohm a , the research and criticism project, developed by the authors gathered by the Quel Corps? According to him, the sports phenomenon is understood as a totality, a coordinated set of social relations and of institutions determined by the organization of the competition, structured by the principle of corporal efficiency, productivity, performance, and competitiveness Brohm, a , p.
Following the orientation of the dialectical method, 4 the group of authors gathered in the Quel Corps? The understanding of the object in its relation with the social whole would confer a revolutionary character to sociology as, by conducting the criticism, it would recover its potential for intervention in social life.
Thus, the analysis conducted by the Critical Theory of Sport comprehends the sports phenomenon in four distinct fronts. The first front of the analysis of Quel Corps? The second front comprises sports practices.
The author seeks to clarify the logic of sports competition that would comprehend the perverse logic of perverse effects: the psychobiological manipulation, the use of doping, the computerized modelling of behaviors and techniques, accidents, traumas, and the production of cybernetic bodies as ideal to be achieved.
The third front refers to the study of sports events. The author analyzes the major international meetings, their enchanting and mystifying powers that institute, ultimately, nationalism, xenophobia, and chauvinism. The last front of analysis refers to the sports discourses, by the sports media and political representatives, eminent in the historical period studied, among them Pierre de Coubertin.
One of the most significant traits of the ideological use promoted by the sports ideology refers to the attempt to endow them with trans-historical attributes.
Quel Corps? These authors, founded on an anachronistic vision, aimed at establishing a sports model endowed with virtue and ethics. They sought to recover the attributes present in the principle of the Olympic Games of antiquity for the development of modern sport. Pierre de Coubertin was the main fosterer of this ideology in promoting the first Olympic Games of the Modern Era.
According to Quel Corps? Coubertin had learned of the educational initiative implemented by Thomas Arnold, in England, structured on sports education for training athletes and for a moral education designed to educate Christians.
Excited about the English pedagogical reform, he visited England in to observe closely the progress made by Arnold. Back to France, Coubertin intended, on the one hand, to develop an education to prepare the children of the bourgeoisie for the international struggle for life and, on the other hand, establish, thanks to sports ideology fair play, respect for rules, etc , social peace. According to Quel Corps , p. According to Coubertin, the development of sport would be the contribution that the bourgeoisie could offer to the development of a healthier working class, capable of tackling the problems caused by urban development and industrial development.
Coubertin aimed not only at the development of more robust, more resistant, and healthier workers, in order to increase productivity, but also appreciated the development of sport as a factor of social stability. According to Quel Corps , while visiting the U. According to Quel Corps journal?
With the end of the war, in , Marshal Lyautey writes to Coubertin, considering him one of those responsible for the triumph due to the sports training of French youth. According to Coubertin, sport would aid in the moral education of youth, preparing them for the battles of life. In addition to corresponding to moral education and corporal health, sport would fulfill the function of rationalizing the imagination of youth, preparing them to fulfill the socially ordered expectations.
Coubertin saw, in sports, an appeasing element for dispersed and conflicted interests between bourgeois youth and proletarian youth, contributing to improve the relations between the different social strata, fostering more effective collaboration. The development of modern sports seemingly cannot be understood without understanding the very technological scientific development, which is one of its foundations.
One of its results appears as the development of techniques of sports training: man is reduced to metaphors of machine that, in a political analysis, reduce living processes to energy and economic processes of production, the body is fully planned and made positive.
According to Laguillaumie ,. Today sports are determined by the capitalist society by class relations. However, as social practice of a determined type, sports are conditioned by the development of the productive forces.
Modern sports are associate with the advent of industrial machinery and with the scientific type, technique for organization of production. Modern sports are then, definitely, in all their manifestations and phenomena, connected structurally to an economic base, to a given infrastructure: the capitalist industrial production relations.
The sports phenomenon is understood as a product defined by the production relations of the capitalist industrial system. This determination provides a revealing character concerning its structure and ideology, serving to maintain the dominant ideology, conditioned by the productive forces identified with the exaltation of industrial technique and machinery, elements that would lead to a technical-positivist relation with the body, structurally connected to the economic base.
According to the author, with the industrial development and urbanization, the modern sports developed concomitantly with the productive forces with the scientific and technological revolution.
With the advent and expansion of ultramodern technological instruments, such as the time measuring instruments stopwatch , the sports receive contributions that would facilitate their expansion. The emergence of new sports training techniques results from scientific knowledge. The development of new technologies, such as instruments for measuring time, as well as the technology for relocation of spaces intended for the improvement of sports performance, constitute conditions so modern sports can develop no more as isolated manifestations of restricted groups.
With the standardization of measuring instruments arise criteria that can be extended to other groups, in other regions, allowing the encoding of the goals to be achieved in each sport, which may be shared between distant groups, in different countries, thus beginning that which later would be configured as the standardization of sports on a global scale.
Scientific-technological development comprises the acquisition of new training methods and precise instruments for the measurement of performance, fundamental axis for sports organization Laguillaumie, The record refers to the abstraction of corporal performance, established by the development of objective measurements. The mathematized, quantified body, monitored as to its physiological functions, is dehumanized for performance.
Corporal submission to scientific control comes to be the mark of modern sport. According to Ellul , technological development leads to change in the universe of sports practices. According to the author,. Firstly it is necessary to understand that there was a social change in sports due to the spirit of technique, that is, because of the values that the technicized society developed A decisive value that dominates our time is success due to competitiveness.
This is derived directly from technique: it is always the search for the best way to achieve a certain result. Technique is first and foremost a calculation of success and victory. Ellul, , p. The author argues that sports, initially considered as games, comprise the ideal of winning, although it was not obsessive.
Victory was related to pleasure and honor. Another important characteristic refers to its geographic limit. Only the advent of scientific development enabled a unification of measurement standards that enabled their internationalization, giving the image of sportsmen a global character through objective comparison of the performances of the best results.
The technicization of the sports milieu goes beyond the development of all the instrumental technological apparatus, it also refers to the techniques developed along with psychology, communication, sports training, to the biologization and to the approach of human body to machine. Thus, the technical civilization achieves its prime in this mechanization. Through sports discipline, man not only play and decrease tensions and difficulties, but also adapts without knowing, prepares for new difficulties.
According to Brohm , the development of the chronometer and the search for records are two elements that would liken the sports phenomenon to the very industrial development, endowing it with other markedly distanced elements of what, erstwhile, defined the worship of deities and the conception of the body subject to the metaphysics of finitude.
Modern sports express the desire for eternal life, renunciation of corporal finitude. The cult of the body, last resource before the threat of aging, is corroborated by the technological and scientific development that ends up permeating all spheres of human social development.
Modern sports, by establishing an organizational unit based on the record 8 as reference, forges a universal character constituting concrete and objectives elements for the comparison between corporal performances. The authors of the Critical Theory of Sports point out, also, the naturalization of corporal hierarchy, particular of sporting ideology. Corporal hierarchy corresponds to the institution of passage rites, grouping by skill levels, and the deification of renowned sports athletes the sports champion.
Hierarchy by corporal skill corroborates the adaptive and normalizing functions of a status quo based on corporal violence and training, which in the social set refer to little clarified content.
Teoria crítica e educação política em Theodor Adorno
The Authoritarian Personality is a sociology book by Theodor W. The Authoritarian Personality "invented a set of criteria by which to define personality traits, ranked these traits and their intensity in any given person on what it called the ' F scale ' F for fascist. These traits include conventionalism, authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, anti-intellectualism , anti-intraception, superstition and stereotypy , power and "toughness", destructiveness and cynicism, projectivity, and exaggerated concerns over sex. Though strongly criticized for bias and methodology,   the book was highly influential in American social sciences, particularly in the first decade after its publication: "No volume published since the war in the field of social psychology has had a greater impact on the direction of the actual empirical work being carried on in the universities today. Adorno had been a member of the " Frankfurt School ", a group of philosophers and Marxist theorists who fled Germany when Hitler shut down their Institute for Social Research. Adorno et al.
The Authoritarian Personality