Henri Lefebvre and Finnish Football : A Humanist, Critical, and Urban Dialectic for Sport

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Title: Henri Lefebvre and Finnish Football : A Humanist, Critical, and Urban Dialectic for Sport
Author: Finch, Edward
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202012285507
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Sosiaalipolitiikka
Social Policy (prior to 1.8.2011)
Abstract: This thesis has two intertwined goals: to articulate a coherent approach to sport loyal to Lefebvre’s philosophy using the concrete case of Finnish football, and so to point possible paths for improving Finnish football using Lefebvrian theory. Based in the ‘Third Wave’ of Lefebvrian scholarship, I explore the humanism, critique, and urbanism in his physical, mental, and lived dialectic. I engage with the influences of Heidegger, Nietzsche, Hegel, and, most prominently, Marx on his expansive oeuvre and the arising concepts of: totality and the residuality of everyday life held together in a collective subjectivity; globalisation and the neoliberal and neomanagerial strategies of the state; metaphilosophy, transformative praxis, the bodily truth of poietic creativity, and mimetic repetition (as not always an empty copy); time, its moments, and its linear and cyclical rhythms; alienation and the romantic revolution against the fetishised concrete abstractions of the exchange value, ideologies (with a more inclusive definition of ideology than in which Lefebvre has usually been understood), and space, as well as the latter’s reimagining in utopias. Using these concepts, I describe some features of Finnish football and critically uncover problems in it. Beyond my own experiences, especially coaching, I describe the general capitalist mode of Finnish football under globalisation and the neoliberal and neomanagerial strategies of the Finnish national and municipal governments and sports associations (the democracy of the new Finnish Football Federation’s structure remains to be seen). I explore the alienation arising from the abstractions of the game by the federation-run ‘skill competitions’, the logic of the exchange value, and from both sides of the ideological clash between sport as achievement and the sport-for-all Kaikki Pelaa (Everybody Plays) programme. I set the task for all people involved in football to live a new praxis and imagine the possible futures of a disalienated game.
Subject: Lefebvre

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