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This book demonstrates why sport matters and how, by arguing that we should take sport seriously and explore what is social about sport. Sport is not just another domain to which social theories can be applied, sport is also distinctive. Sport generates new ways of thinking about social issues and debates. Sport is both affected by the global economy and social, political and cultural processes and has affects on the wider social terrain of which it is part. Sport is more than play. This book addresses what is particular about sport and shows how sport brings together personal pleasures, embodied practices, collective commitment and globalised politics and conflicts. Sport is divisive and collaborative, conflictual and democratic; it combines people in particular, positive and energising ways, but also re-creates tensions, ambivalences and conflicts. The role and status of sport in contemporary societies are crucial to an understanding of the nature of social and cultural change.