Sport: culture and counterculture. A study through the model of cultural sporting horizons

David Mata Verdejo

Original Language

Cite this article

Mata Verdejo, D. (2002). Sport: culture and counterculture. A study through the model of cultural sporting horizons. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 67, 6-16.



From different scientific social modes, the sporting phenomenon has been treated as a cultural statement, implanted in society and following its own models. Therefore, sport seems firmly linked to culture. Other sporting manifestations have sprung up and been developed from the sixties that answer to impulses completely different and opposite to the first. Therefore, we consider that sport constitutes in itself a factor of ethnicity, creating its own subcultural identity, marginal, and in essence, counter cultural to the system. The clear opposition between the scale of values, uses and habits of both manifestations needs a re-structuring of the anthropological idea of sport. Leaving aside the classical acceptance of the term as incomplete, alternative models of study must be applied to allow for the understanding of a human phenomenon, enormously complex and varied. We have substituted “sporting culture” for the mode “sporting horizons”, thus allowing a greater capacity to understand and study the social contexts. The study of the diverse uses of the bicycle brings us closer to the sporting horizons: the traditional side reveals itself as highly social and integrational of the individual in the system, associated to the Central Horizon as a major means of transport or pleasurable and healthy ecological practice.
The Marginal Horizon, is a product of experimenting with new models aimed at social evasion, enjoying dizziness and risk in nature. Lastly, the assimilation by part of the cultural system of the forms belonging to the marginal subcultures has given place to new models syncretic to the use  of the bicycle.

Keywords: Emic Perspective, Faust Tropicalism, Festive Tropicalism, Freakies, Peer Groups, Radical Sports Person, skaters, Sporting Horizons (Central and Marginal), Sporting Sub-Cultures.

ISSN: 2014-0983

Published: January 01, 2002