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Towards a Model of Olympic Social Capital : Theory and Early Evidence

Title data

Prüschenk, Nathalie ; Kurscheidt, Markus:
Towards a Model of Olympic Social Capital : Theory and Early Evidence.
In: Current Issues in Sport Science. Vol. 5 (2020) .
ISSN 2414-664
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15203/CISS_2020.001

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Social capital in sports has become an increasingly studied topic. In particular, it has been argued that social capital is created by value-based cultural practices and social exchanges with respect to sport participation and sporting events. However, empirical evidence is scarce and does not capture causal relationships in the process of social capital creation. A general criticism in the social capital literature is that the existing theory falls short of modelling causalities in more detail. Therefore, this paper attempts to develop a causal model of social capital formation within the Olympic movement. It is an exemplary case because of the global esteem of the Olympic Games and their value foundation in Olympism. The worldwide awareness of the Olympics moreover creates social capital among spectators. However, the process of how the perception of Olympic values by spectators is transformed into Olympic social capital is not well understood. Thus, the theoretical modelling focuses on the so-called bridging capital accumulated by Olympic spectators. It is reasoned that the interrelationship of the three Olympic key values of respect, friendship and excellence is perceived and adopted by live spectators via a cyclic process of simultaneous experience resulting in a sustainable episodic memory. In contrast, broadcast spectators develop a dichotomous semantic memory, more influenced by socio-economic tensions caused by the commodification of the Olympic value of excellence. Hence, the live Olympic capital tends to be larger than the broadcast Olympic capital. The plausibility of the model’s propositions is illustrated by data from a cluster sample (N=1,703) of German broadcast spectators of and visitors to the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. The basic proposition of the larger live Olympic capital is confirmed, while the evidence for the emotional exposure and socio-economic environment when experiencing the event is mixed.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: social capital; social exchange theory; Olympic Games; Olympic values; Olympism; International Olympic Committee; sport spectators; sport broadcast
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Sport Science
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Sport Science > Chair Sport Science II - Sport Governance and Event Management > Chair Sport Science II - Sport Governance and Event Management - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Markus Kurscheidt
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Sport Science > Chair Sport Science II - Sport Governance and Event Management
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences
300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
700 Arts and recreation > 790 Sports, games, entertainment
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2020 21:00
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2020 06:39
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/54847