Mittwoch, 29. April 2015, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

MeSoS Seminar Series: Niko Besnier

Good Life in the Sport Industries: Care, Scale, and the Precarity of Athletic Migrants

Hörsaal H 10 (Fakultätszentrum für Methoden der Sozialwissenschaften)
Rathausstraße 19, Stiege 2, Hochparterre, 1010 Wien


Sport constitutes one of the most important industries of the contemporary moment globally constituted by its worldwide consumer base, the transnational nature of the agents of its production, and the global definition of its governing bodies. At the same time, these large-scale dynamics articulate with deeply localized concerns, such as the structures of reciprocity and obligations of care in which many migrant athletes are implicated, the potentially contradictory regimes of valuation to which they are subjected in the different contexts, and the complex regimes of citizenship, belonging, and marginality that they have to navigate. The GLOBALSPORT project that I direct examines instances of these complexities in three world sports (association football, rugby union, and cricket), which foreground issues of scale: from one’s obligations to grandmothers in West African villages to the demands of global audiences in the hyper-commercialized world of sport spectatorship; from the difficulties of finding continuity in one’s life through temporary sport contracts to one’s potential visibility at any given moment on the global scene; from global stardom at one moment to abject invisibility at another.


Niko Besnier is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. He is also currently ERC Advanced Grant Laureate, GLOBALSPORT Project (2012–17) and Incoming Editor of American Ethnologist (2015–). His research interests include: Dynamics of globalization and localization; Sports as a political and cultural field in a globalized context; Gender and sexual identity; Precarity, crisis, and provisioning; Political formations; Language and interaction; Ethics and politics of ethnographic research and anthropological representation.


Fakultätszentrum für Methoden der Sozialwissenschaften in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie


Seiichi Chikama
Fakultätszentrum für die Methoden der Sozialwissenschaften
+43 (0)1 4277 49908