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Robert Edelman   1, Sergey Bondarenko   2, Oleg Kil'dyushov   3
  • 1 University of California, San Diego, Gilman Dr, 9500, San Diego, CA, USA 92161
  • 2 International "Memorial", Karetny Ryad str., 5/10, Moscow, Russian Federation 127006
  • 3 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Sport Helps to Answer Fundamental Questions: Interview with Robert Edelman

2017, vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 275–283 [issue contents]
The interview with Robert Edelmann, the renown American scholar of Soviet sport, Professor of Russian history and history of sport at California University in San Diego, is dedicated to the heuristic questions of study of contemporary bodily practices. In the beginning, the scientist tells about his way into the historical science, on the emergence of his interest to Russian history, in general, and to contemporary forms of work with the body, in particular. R. Edelmann’s reminiscences regarding the situation with American academic community in 1960–1970s, especially the influence of the leading theoreticians of the Frankfurt School such as T. Adorno and H. Marcuse, are of special value from the standpoint of social-theoretical interest. The common thread of the whole interview is the claim on the inadequacy of many, especially the left-wing, intellectuals’ approach towards sport as some secondary sphere, at best distracting the people from real problems. It is further said about the heuristics of social-theoretical, cultural and historical studies of sport related to the names of leading representatives of Birmingham, Lester schools, and other branches of the humanities. Several investigations putting sport in the wide sociocultural context, are specified. Then Edelmann explicates his methodological approaches to the phenomenon of Soviet sport, which allowed him to analyze the mass bodily practices from the perspective of the participants themselves, i.e. “from below”, instead of the widespread standpoint “from above”. In conclusion, Edelmann remarks on the problem of academic acceptance of the disciplines explicitly investigating sport and other cultural practices, which were traditionally evaluated as “low”. 
Citation: Edelman R., Bondarenko S., Kil'dyushov O. (2017) Sport pomogaet otvetit' na fundamental'nye voprosy: Interv'yu s Robertom Edel'manom [Sport Helps to Answer Fundamental Questions: Interview with Robert Edelman]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 16, no 2, pp. 275-283 (in Russian)
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