Towards a sociological analysis of London 2012

Michael L Silk

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Within this article, I focus on a number of productive scholarly avenues to which sociological analysis of London 2012 might want to attend. Understanding major sporting events - and thus the Olympic Games - as inextricably entangled with the media-industrial complex, I suggest London 2012 as a commodity spectacle that will emphasize gleaming aesthetics, a (sporting) city and nation collapsed into (simple) tourist images, and the presentation of a particular expression of self within the logics of the global market. In so doing, and by peeking behind the seductive, corporate-inspired veil of material and symbolic regeneration, image, strategy and legacy, we, as a field, can ask crucial questions about whose histories, whose representations and which peoples matter to, and for, the sporting spectacle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-748
Number of pages16
JournalSociology-the Journal of the British Sociological Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • regeneration
  • multiculturalism
  • tourism
  • spectacle
  • London
  • heritage
  • Olympics


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