Nation at Play: A History of Sport in India

Columbia University Press
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Reaching as far back as ancient times, Ronojoy Sen pairs a novel history of India's engagement with sport and a probing analysis of its cultural and political development under monarchy and colonialism, and as an independent nation. Some sports that originated in India have fallen out of favor, while others, such as cricket, have been adopted and made wholly India's own. Sen's innovative project casts sport less as a natural expression of human competition than as an instructive practice reflecting a unique play with power, morality, aesthetics, identity, and money.

Sen follows the transformation of sport from an elite, kingly pastime to a national obsession tied to colonialism, nationalism, and free market liberalization. He pays special attention to two modern phenomena: the dominance of cricket in the Indian consciousness and the chronic failure of a billion-strong nation to compete successfully in international sporting competitions, such as the Olympics. Innovatively incorporating examples from popular media and other unconventional sources, Sen not only captures the political nature of sport in India but also reveals the patterns of patronage, clientage, and institutionalization that have bound this diverse nation together for centuries.
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About the author

Ronojoy Sen is senior research fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies and Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. He has worked for over a decade with leading Indian newspapers, most recently as an editor for The Times of India. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and read history at Presidency College, Calcutta. He is also the author of Articles of Faith: Religion, Secularism, and the Indian Supreme Court.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Columbia University Press
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Published on
Oct 27, 2015
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780231539937
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / India & South Asia
Sports & Recreation / History
Sports & Recreation / Racket Sports
Sports & Recreation / Rugby
Sports & Recreation / Soccer
Sports & Recreation / Sociology of Sports
Sports & Recreation / Wrestling
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the Lord Aberdare Literary Prize 2015- from the British Society for Sports History.

From its advent in the mid-late nineteenth century as a garden-party pastime to its development into a highly commercialised and professionalised high-performance sport, the history of tennis in Britain reflects important themes in Britain’s social history. In the first comprehensive and critical account of the history of tennis in Britain, Robert Lake explains how the game’s historical roots have shaped its contemporary structure, and how the history of tennis can tell us much about the history of wider British society.

Since its emergence as a spare-time diversion for landed elites, the dominant culture in British tennis has been one of amateurism and exclusion, with tennis sitting alongside cricket and golf as a vehicle for the reproduction of middle-class values throughout wider British society in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Consequently, the Lawn Tennis Association has been accused of a failure to promote inclusion or widen participation, despite steadfast efforts to develop talent and improve coaching practices and structures. Robert Lake examines these themes in the context of the global development of tennis and important processes of commercialisation and professional and social development that have shaped both tennis and wider society.

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