Sport is big business; international in nature and the focus of much media and cultural attention. In this Very Short Introduction, Mike Cronin charts the history of sport, from its traditional origins in folk football and cock fighting to its position as a global phenomenon today. Looking at a variety of sports from team games such as rugby, cricket, and football to games for individuals such as golf, tennis, and skiing, he considers how these first emerged and captivated the interest of ordinary people, and how sport has been transformed within our daily lives.
Exploring the relationship between sport and class, gender, commerce, identity, and ethics, Cronin considers some of the central issues in sport today, including the high pay of professional footballers and the glamour of women in sports, as well as fair play standards. Charting sport through the ages and around the world, this is a short guide to the history, development, and place of sport in contemporary global society.