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Olympic Games as Performance and Public Event
The Case of the XVII Winter Olympic Games in Norway
Edited by Arne Martin Klausen
272 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-706-8 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (September 1999)
ISBN 978-1-57181-203-2 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (September 1999)
"... in the course of their detailed cultural analyses individual contributors reveal a lot of great interest ... [It] covers many important aspects of the cultural politics of the production, performance, content and reception of the event in Norway ... [and] succeeds in demonstrating the usefulness of anthropological approaches in contemporary Olympic research." · Culture, Sport & Society
Sports, and in particular the Olympic Games, are enjoying a rapid increase in interest among social scientists worldwide, who see them as important "public events." This volume offers the first analysis of the Winter Olympic Games, primarily based on the Lillehammer Games of 1994. The authors identify "olympism" as a key agent in the modernization process and, more specifically, ask how the winter games, as a mega-event, relate to Norwegian culture and ethos.
The authors of these specially commissioned papers examine various aspects of this encounter, including problems such as gender as related to nature and culture, masculinity and heroism, national identity and invention of tradition, the impact of venue construction on a traditional cultural landscape, the ideological criticism of the I.O.C. as it emerged, dramatically, before the opening of the Games and the conflict between the Norwegians and the Greeks over the ritual status of the two flames used during the torch relay, one from Olympia and one from Morgedalin Telemark, "the cradle of skiing."
Arne Martin Klausen is Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Social Anthropology, Universityof Oslo. Until his retirement, he was also the governmental representative in the Norwegian National Commission for Unesco.