Abstimmen oder Schwimmen? Plebiszitarer Sport und synchronisierte Wahlen. [Sink or swim: Plebiscitary sport and synchronised voting.][In German]
Hartley, John (2009) Abstimmen oder Schwimmen? Plebiszitarer Sport und synchronisierte Wahlen. [Sink or swim: Plebiscitary sport and synchronised voting.][In German]. In Axster, Felix, Jager, Jens, Sicks, Kai Marcel, & Stauff, Markus (Eds.) Mediensport: Strategien der Grenzziehung [Media-sport: Strategies for drawing the boundary.][In German]. Wilhelm Fink, Munich, Germany, pp. 43-63.
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This chapter starts from the observation that new sporting attributes are growing up unnoticed in popular entertainment and ‘reality’ TV. They celebrate not individual heroics but spectator-oriented teamwork which must look effortless and stylish. Instead of objective measurements – ‘faster, higher, stronger’ – winners are picked by voting and consumer choice. Sport and media are converging and integrating. As they do so, what counts as sport, why it is valued, and what it symbolises for contemporary culture, are all changing. I take these changes to be emblematic of something emergent in the culture at large as the modernist paradigm shifts towards a new consumerist paradigm. This is symbolised in new sports, of which the paradigm example is synchronised swimming. The chapter traces these changes via the career and legacy of the Australian swimming and fashion pioneer Annette Kellerman.
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