Sports Culture In New Zealand: Rugby

899 words - 4 pages

Sports Culture in New Zealand Perspective

Sport Culture rugby, in particular plays a major role in the creation of New Zealand’s national identity over the past 140 years. New Zealand is identifiable with its strong ties to Rugby on an international scale. Introduced as contact sport by European men it grew, Rugby Union Clubs began to emerge in cities and towns all over the nation. Sport culture allowed pakeha and Maori to unite, as previously the solidarity of New Zealand culture dwindled beneath the Maori Land Wars of the 19th century. Rugby football acts as an example of Pakeha and Maoris common ground in the Rugby field. The unification of society in a regular space and time Sport has solidified nations. But in recent years it has become an entity of Hegemonic masculinity, a home for alcoholism, violence and Beer drinking.

The origin of Rugby in New Zealand came with the arrival of European settlers and native Maori who soon came to distinguish with Rugby as a part of their culture. Modernly this makes to Rugby Union the most popular sport in New Zealand today. Our nation unofficially names rugby our national sport, our nations men are very competitive in this contact sport. There are many other popular sporting disciplines such as netball, cricket, rowing and more. Maori and pakeha became part of a unified nation after an ongoing history of conflict between native Maori and European settlers. Native Maori acceptance of these cultural forms makes rugby an anchoring device solidifying the nation and bringing cultural harmony to the once divided country. In the late twentieth and early twenty first century with the sport has become more than a simple game, it is now a forum for international recognition as a small and distant country in a Globalized world. Sport has become increasingly commercialised, directed by large multi-national corporations who use the faces of athletes and sport stars in marketing campaigns, because of this athletes have become icons. The modern field of sport has changed from the traditional thought of a game, to a serious and definite form of popular culture that is anchored in the media from birth to retirement as a concept of unification and pride and in society. Capitalists in the globalized world associate athletes with products aimed at the wide range of consumers who adhere with sports culture. Sporting now plays a role in the Medias portrayal of hegemony and masculinity, the ideology of a kiwi bloke, alcoholism, local beer companies within its all male preserves. As Law, Campbell and Shick (1999, p.14) states: that in New Zealand sports culture “The 'typical Kiwi Bloke” is passionate about rugby...(and) drinks large quantities of beer.” illustrating the ideologies of a sporting nation...

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