Sport as a mode of emotional involvement between nations. An Emotional Sociology´s approach to International Relationships
Sociology Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz Graz, Austria
The paper argues that students of international relationships widely neglected sport and emotions as well as sociologists ignore phenomena of internationality. Unlike diplomacy and foreign policy with its preferred mode of strategic-rationality, sport promotes a variety of emotions. Affects, moods and other types of emotions are key components in the interaction process both between athletes and between audiences. The paper discusses two different emotional aspects that sport has for shaping international relationships. First, there are several patterns of emotional involvement generated by sport. These patterns partly affect unintended consequences for international politics, other non-sport agents, and sport competitors. Second, the sport creates international communities which share common affective-structures as well as common emotional patterns of loyalty towards national teams and athletes.