Modernization of Athletics in Oman: Between Global Pressures and Local Dynamics

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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of how the development of the sport of athletics in Oman has been constructed in the discourse of six key actors drawn from five different stakeholder groups engaged in the development process, and of key documents published by related governmental and sporting bodies. In methodological terms the study employs life history interviews conducted with the stakeholders, critically evaluating the nature of discourse in the career history accounts of the six interviewees and of the content of related documentation. The research uses the vehicle of the interviewees’ construction of career histories, and the documents, to analyse their explanations of the nature of, and rationale for, policy change, perceptions of the significance of these changes, and the agents and structures which assisted or impeded them. The analysis highlights three principal discourses, namely a discourse of tradition, a religious discourse, and a discourse of modernization with sub-discourses under this third category of equity, professionalization, and nation building. The modernization of sport in Oman, while sharing features with modernization processes elsewhere also takes on features which are unique to the context of Omani culture in line with the characterisation of the development of multiple or plural modernities.

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AL DROUSHI, A. R., & HENRY, I. (2020). Modernization of Athletics in Oman: Between Global Pressures and Local Dynamics. International Journal of the History of Sport, 37(sup1), 3–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2020.1734565

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