Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society


Sport and Identity in France: Practices, Locations, Representations

Project Description

This project focused attention on sport’s social significance as a mode of individual and communal interaction, and, particularly, of cultural representation. Since the mid-19th century, modern sports have exerted a powerful influence on both individual and communal self-images, and have thereby made a distinctive contribution to the imaginative life, and the identity politics, of European (and other) nation-states. This project sought to explore, and ultimately to explain, the processes of representation and mediation involved in the sporting construction (and subsequent renegotiation) of local, national, and, increasingly, global identities. This ongoing process was examined by means of a case study of France from the mid-19th century to the present, and involved research at the level of individuals, communities, regions, and the French nation-state as a whole. Particular attention was given to the current role of sporting practices and representations in the development of increasingly multicultural, hybrid, and “globalized” forms of French identity in the putatively post-modern world. Sport’s distinctive contribution to the construction of European identities was examined through a series of research seminars by leading sports historians and sociologists from across Europe, so as to place the case-study of France within a broader cross-cultural and comparative context.

Project Details

Principal Investigator:

Dr Philip Dine (School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, NUI Galway)


Dr Seán Crosson (Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway)

External Partners:




Grant Source:

IRCHSS award under the Government of Ireland (Thematic) Research Project Grant scheme

Grant Amount:


Project Outputs

Publications related to the project:

Book chapters:
P. Dine ‘La Vie en rose: reinventing French rugby in the professional era’ (with Olivier Nier), in G. Ryan (ed.), The Changing Face of Rugby: The Union Game and Professionalism since 1995 (Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), pp. 20-40.

P. Dine, ‘Les courses hippiques en France et au Royaume-Uni: Quelles représentations corporelles?’, in G. Ferréol (ed.), Représentations Corporelles et Loisirs Sportifs (Brussels, Intercommunications / EME, 2009), pp. 131-44.

Book – edited:
P. Dine & S. Crosson (eds.), Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe (Oxford, Peter Lang, 2010).

Peer-reviewed journal – guest-edited thematic number:
S. Crosson & P. Dine (eds.), ‘Representing Sport in Ireland’, Media History, vol. 17, no. 2, 2011.

Book – single author:
P. Dine, Sport and Identity in France: Practices, Locations, Representations (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012).

Other related outputs/outcomes:
International conference: ‘Representing Sport: Forms and Issues’, NUI Galway, 23-24/05/08
International symposia: ‘Representing Sport: Evolving Identities in Europe’, NUI Galway, 5-6/12/08
‘Representing Sport: Europe, Tradition, and Modernity’, NUI Galway, 2-3/06/09

Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society