‘The grand mass gymnastics and artistic performance Arirang’ (2002–2012): North Korea's socialist–realist response to global sports spectacles

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Merkel, Udo (2013) ‘The grand mass gymnastics and artistic performance Arirang’ (2002–2012): North Korea's socialist–realist response to global sports spectacles International Journal of the History of Sport, 30 (11). pp. 1247-1258. ISSN 0952-3367

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Abstract

In accordance to Kim Il-sung’s Juche philosophy that advocates independence, selfreliance and self-sufficiency, North Korea continues to remain one of the most reclusive and least globalised countries in the world. The country’s response to the ongoing globalisation of sport, however, is less dogmatic but pragmatic, and resembles a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, it rejects and resists this process and on the other hand, it appropriates the global sports stage to pursue a complex political agenda. This paper focuses on the Arirang Festival that usually takes place in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, and challenges and repudiates the prominence of commodified and globally controlled mega sports events. At the same time, this event offers North Korea a global forum to demonstrate the uniqueness and success of its political system and to foster an alternative discourse about the country. This impressive celebration of physical culture successfully negotiates the Juche philosophy and the forces of globalisation.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: North Korea; Arirang Festival; globalisation; glocalisation; Korean division; nationalism
Subjects: L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L311 Sport and Leisure
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L312 Travel and Tourism
L000 Social Sciences > L900 Cultural Studies
L000 Social Sciences > L200 Politics
L000 Social Sciences > L200 Politics > L220 Political Systems
L000 Social Sciences > L200 Politics > L240 International Politics
L000 Social Sciences > L200 Politics > L250 International Relations
N000 Business and Management > N200 Management studies > N260 Sport, Leisure and Recreation Management
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1080/09523367.2013.793179
Depositing User: Converis
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2014 03:01
Last Modified: 26 May 2015 15:23
URI: http://eprints.brighton.ac.uk/id/eprint/11922

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