n Africa Insight - The impact of sport on nation building : a critical analysis of South Africa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Volume 38, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The impact of sport on nation building is a popular theme in political science and sociology. It is therefore hardly surprising that many scholars have studied the potential of sport as a nation builder in a fragmented society. Those who study the dynamics of sport have accepted that sport is inseparable from nationalism and that it can form a powerful tool in the hands of politicians. Yet there is also a perception that sport has an inflated status as social unifier - that it is nothing more than 'ninety minute patriotism'. This article therefore investigates sport as a nation builder, with specific reference to South Africa as a divided, developing country.

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