Department of Physical Education
Responding to globalisation: The case of elite artistic gymnastics in China
This article presents an exploration of a non-Western nation’s responses to globalisation through an in-depth analysis of elite artistic gymnastics in China over a lengthy time span. The concept of globalisation and patterns of ‘reach’ and ‘response’ act as the heuristic devices underpinning the analysis. Data were collected from a range of documents and from six semi-structured interviews. The trajectory of Chinese elite artistic gymnastics’ responses to globalisation can be characterised as a passive response in the 1950s, a participative response in the first half of the 1960s, a conflictual response from 1966 to the early 1970s, a participative response from the early 1970s to the 2012 Olympic Games, and a passive response, once again, during the Rio Olympiad (post-London 2012). In this way, a nation’s responses to globalisation are seen as dynamic rather than rigid or static. China’s case also demonstrates that a nation can have a degree of autonomy when responding to globalisation, although in extreme cases, a nation-state can choose to resist this globalising context, largely depending on a government’s attitude towards globalisation and the value the government attaches to it.
artistic gymnastics, China, globalisation, politics, responses
Source Publication Title
International Review for the Sociology of Sport
Link to Publisher's Edition
Zheng, J., Tan, T., & Alan, B. (2017). Responding to globalisation: The case of elite artistic gymnastics in China. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690217730679