Press Release Summary: The significance of rugby and the All Blacks, runs deeper in New Zealand than just being a national pastime.
Press Release Body: Melbourne, Australia -15 November, 2007- The significance of rugby and the national team, the All Blacks, runs deeper in New Zealand than just being a national pastime. According to a paper in New Zealand Geographer - published by Wiley-Blackwell - the sport serves as an ideal platform to build and sustain economic nationalism.
Authors of "Sporting Narratives and Globalization: Making Links between the All Black tours of 1905 and 2005", Nicolas Lewis and Gordon Winder, compared the tour of Great Britain and Ireland in 2005 with the formative 1905 tour - to show that rugby is as much an economic and political game as it is a sporting spectacle.
Many actors - from players to the media, politicians and multinational corporations - seek to benefit from the globalization of rugby. There are features of the 2005 Tour that echo some of the 1905 tour, which was just as commercialized in many ways.
"Despite being a century apart, both All Black rugby tours were similarly effective in fostering particular national identities and presenting opportunities to generate economic value", said Dr. Lewis.
The globalization of the sport has been understood and organized in many new ways between 1905 and 2005, hence enabling the different actors to more thoroughly exploit its capacity to produce economic and social values.
Dr. Lewis adds that both tours were related to projects of national development in which cultural products feature highly. He observes that "these continuities highlight just how important it is to direct attention to the impacts that rugby has on identity, economics and politics as well as our weekly entertainment."
*This paper was originally written as the opening address to an international conference of economic geographers held in Auckland.
This paper is published in the December 2007 issue of New Zealand Geographer. It is available free online at http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1745-7939.2007.00109.x
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New Zealand Geographer For over 50 years the New Zealand Geographer has been the internationally refereed journal of the New Zealand Geographical Society. The Society represents professional geographers in academic, school, business, government, community and other spheres in New Zealand and the South Pacific. The journal publishes academic papers on aspects of the physical, human and environmental geographies, and landscapes, of its region; commentaries and debates; discussions of educational questions and scholarship of concern to geographers; short interventions and assessments of topical matters of interest to university and high school teachers; and book reviews.
The New Zealand Geographer welcomes contributions in any of these areas, from geographers and those in related disciplines working in, or on, New Zealand, the South Pacific and the wider Australasian region. The editors also welcome papers addressing conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues. The Journal aims to publish papers that serve the interests of its readership, that are accessible to a wide audience and which showcase current geographical work and matters of professional concern in the region.
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