Global Sport, Territorial Ambition: How Professional Soccer Remade Turkey

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2020

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Based on fieldwork in Bursa and archival research, this dissertation investigates the historical interplay between professional soccer, nationalism, and globalization in Turkey. The dissertation makes the case that the globalized commercialized competition in professional soccer as well as attempts and failures to regulate the explosive economic and cultural dynamics of professional soccer have made significant contributions to the remaking of Turkish nation-building over the decades throughout the 20th century and until the present day. Starting with a historical analysis of the interwar origins of commercial soccer in post-imperial Istanbul and its fraught relation to militarist nation-building, the dissertation then moves to the formation of a national sport bureaucracy and subsequent development of a national professional league after the 1960s. An ethnography of a city team Bursaspor, which constitutes the second half of the dissertation, demonstrates that what I call the joint-stock politics of city’s soccer team is a cultural performance for the city to tell itself stories about its industrial modernity and the globalizing transformations the city undergoes.

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Evren, Can (2020). Global Sport, Territorial Ambition: How Professional Soccer Remade Turkey. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22174.

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