Historically sport has not been taken seriously as an area of academic study, but has begun to come to the forefront in recent years as the importance of its links to social justice, identity and development have been recognised. Mega sporting events, such as the Olympics and Paralympics have a huge impact on the countries that host them - both positive and negative. They can lead to investment in infrastructure and sporting talent at all levels, but can also lead to higher surveillance, the risk of terrorism or the marginalisation of certain groups in society as urban regeneration takes place.
In this inaugural lecture, Professor Mike Silk will draw on his research expertise to explore how different groups of people become engaged or disengaged with mega sporting events. In particular, he will share details of one of his most recent research projects, which is helping to shape the way in which Channel 4 and other media outlets report the Paralympics - and the difference that this can make to society's understanding of disability.
Professor Mike Silk’s research focuses on the relationships between sport and physical activity (physical culture), the governance of bodies, mediated (sporting) spectacles, identities and urban spaces. He has received funding from the British Council, the ESRC, the AHRC, the British Academy, Sport England, Women Win, and the Jiangsu Provincial Government (PRC). His current research addresses the relationship between sport mega events, urban renewal, and social inequalities.
The final lecture in the 2018/19 Fusion Inaugural Lecture series will take place at AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday 21 May. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start - tickets are free but booking is essential.