Moorings and Movements: The Paradox of Sporting Mobilities

Josh Newman, Mark Falcous


This paper advocates for sport to be a feature of mobilities research. Although hitherto ignored by proponents of the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ (Sheller & Urry, 2006), we contend the sporting realm is a rich site of analysis into the rapidly shifting conditions of movement, communication, identification and governance. Following Clifford (1997), we suggest that scholars consider how sporting movements are differentially constrained, and how those on the move can be variously positioned by, and indeed have the potential to [re-]position, political, economic and cultural formations. Along these lines, we argue that in the context of neoliberal globalisation, the sporting body offers an important paradox of mobility: whereby freedom of movement for moving/sporting bodies across global culture- and capital-scapes (as migrant athlete labourers, as tourists, as global celebrities or sporting brands) simultaneously produces immobility, as individuals are increasingly constrained by the logics of the market (as hyper-regimented athletes, as sweatshop labourers in Nike factories, etc.). In so doing, we point to various research themes that that can both inform contemporary understandings of sport, but also enrich broader mobilities scholarship.


mobilities, sport, paradox

Full Text: