Globalization and basketball in China: governance, market and culture

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Huang, Fuhua
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University College Cork
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Chinese sports are developing under very complex and unique political, economic, and cultural circumstances in the global age. This study aims to investigate the process of globalization in basketball through an examination of its multidimensional manifestations. The study aligns itself with Ritzer’s (2003, 2007b) conceptualization of dichotomizing the process of globalization into grobalization and glocalization. On that basis, the trajectory of basketball globalization in China is identified as the result of a contextual and competing interplay between the penetration of the NBA and the consequent engagement of Chinese basketball. A qualitative methodological approach was conducted to achieve the research aim. Data were collected from a number of sources, including official documents and semi-structured interviews with relevant basketball participants. The study reveals that globalization and basketball in China, in the political and institutional dimension, is a conflicting process. The universalization of the NBA’s governance model could not be fully assimilated due to the centralization of power in the Chinese government, which is hindering the further professionalization and marketization of basketball. In the economic dimension, the globalization process is seen to interplay with the local basketball market, which is growing thanks to the adaption of the NBA’s marketing strategies. In the cultural dimension, the study demonstrates that the NBA has to some extent cosmopolitanized and consumerized Chinese basketball culture, while resistance from both the state and the Chinese people has risen, creolizing the globalization of basketball culture in China.
Basketball , China , Globalization and sport
Huang, F. 2013. Globalization and basketball in China: governance, market and culture. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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