A brief taxonomy of sports that were not quite American national pastimes

Fads and flashes-in-the-pan, nationwide and regional pastimes, the pastimes of other nations, and pan-national pastimes

Jessica Lynn Schultz, Dunja Antunovic, Adam Berg, Justine Kaempfer, Andrew D. Linden, Thomas Rorke, Colleen English, Mark Dyreson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Several sports have served as American national pastimes over the course of the nation's history. Horse racing, hunting, prize fighting, baseball, football, and basketball have waxed and waned in a long series of debates over what constitutes true' national pastimes. Unlike some nations that have declared national pastimes by governmental fiat, US national games emerge from organic and sometimes chaotic cultural processes. An alternative history of sports that have become popular and widespread national habits but have not quite become national pastimes sheds important light on what national pastimes are and how they have developed in American history. A variety of pretenders to the title of national pastime have come and gone. These challengers can be categorised as fads and flashes-in-the-pan, nationwide and regional pastimes, the pastimes of other nations, and pan-national pastimes. An examination of why they have failed to become US national pastimes reveals important clues about why other sports have succeeded in that endeavour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-272
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of the History of Sport
Volume31
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 22 2014

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taxonomy
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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