The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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The Race to Transform: Sport in post-apartheid South Africa takes stock of sport in South Africa, and provides a pioneering exploration of how sport reflects matters such as enduring inequality, racial transformation and the making (or otherwise) of a common South African destiny.

To date, much sports writing has been celebratory, paying attention to 'big' moments like the winning of the Rugby World Cups, and hosting the Soccer World Cup in 2010. With the lens focused on national teams, there has been less emphasis on how South Africa's transition has impacted on township sport. This book provides a view on the relationship between elite and grassroots sport in the context of growing economic disparities and the emergence of an influential black middle and super-rich class.

Divided into chapters delving into a diverse set of sporting codes, The Race to Transform enlivens and transcends the technical debates and contestations around transformation that have become such a prominent part of sports discourse. The contributors, a mix of activist intellectuals and those directly involved in the game, outline an agenda for both theory and practice in the ongoing debate about sport and transformation in South Africa.

Every sports lover who realises the power of politics and economics over his or her beloved game must read this book. Written in a style that is accessible and interesting, it is essential reading also for administrators, social scientists and people with an interest in social change.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 198mm x 148mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 264
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2319-1
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2319-6
Publish Year : 2010
Rights : World Rights
  1. Introduction: Long run to freedom? Sports in post-apartheid South Africa
    Ashwin Desai
  2. Creepy crawlies, portapools and the dam(n)s of swimming transformation
    Ashwin Desai and Ahmed Veriava
  3. Inside the house of pain: A case study of the Jaguars Rugby Club
    Ashwin Desai and Zayn Nabbi
  4. Transformation from above: The upside down state of contemporary South African soccer
    Dale T. McKinley
  5. Womens bodies & the world of football in South Africa
    Prishani Naidoo and Zanele Muholi
  6. Jumping over the hurdles: Political analysis of transformation measures in South African athletics
    Justin van der Merwe
  7. Beyond the nation? Colour and class in South African cricket
    Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed
  8. Between black and white: A case study of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU)
    Goolam Vahed, Vishnu Padayachee and Ashwin Desai

Ashwin Desai was previously a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Sociological Research at the University of Johannesburg. He is presently Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at Rhodes University. Ashwin is widely regarded as one of South Africa's foremost social commentators. His work is internationally celebrated for its courage and clarity of vision and for its focus on the lived experience of oppression and resistance.

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