Ever since different communities began processes of global migration, sport has been an integral feature in how we conceptualise and experience the notion of being part of a diaspora. Sport provides diasporic communities with a powerful means for creating transnational ties, but also shapes ideas of their ethnic and racial identities. In spite of this, theories of diaspora have been applied sparingly to sporting discourses. Despite W.G. Grace’s claim that cricket advances civilisation by promoting a common bond, binding together peoples of vastly different backgrounds, to this day cricket operates strict symbolic boundaries; defining those who do, and equally, do not belong. C.L.R. James’ now famous metaphor of looking ‘beyond the boundary’ captures the belief that, to fully understand the significance of cricket, and the sport’s roles in changing and shaping society, one must consider the wider social and political contexts within which the game is played. Contributions to this volume do just that. Cricket acts as their point of departure, but the way in which ideas of power, representation and inequality are ‘played out’ is unique in each.
This book was published as a special issue of Identities.
1. Introduction: Cricket, migration and diasporic communities Thomas Fletcher
2. Sport and the performative body in the early work of C.L.R. James Simon Featherstone
3. A narrative exploration of gender performances and gender relations in the Caribbean diaspora Janelle Joseph
4. Cricket in the ‘contact zone’: Australia’s colonial far North frontier, 1869–1914 Matthew Stephen
5. Breaking down racial barriers? The Maharaja of Patiala’s 1935 Australian cricket tour of India Megan Ponsford
6. It’s because we’re Indian, innit?’ Cricket and the South Asian diaspora in post-war Britain Parvathi Raman
7. Negotiating their right to play: Asian-specific cricket teams and leagues in the UK and Norway Thomas Fletcher and Thomas Walle
The social, cultural (including media) and political study of sport is an expanding area of scholarship and related research. While this area has been well served by the Sport in the Global Society series, the surge in quality scholarship over the last few years has necessitated the creation of Sport in the Global Society: Contemporary Perspectives. The series will publish the work of leading scholars in fields as diverse as sociology, cultural studies, media studies, gender studies, cultural geography and history, political science and political economy. If the social and cultural study of sport is to receive the scholarly attention and readership it warrants, a cross-disciplinary series dedicated to taking sport beyond the narrow confines of physical education and sport science academic domains is necessary. Sport in the Global Society: Contemporary Perspectives will answer this need.