Hyperstructure, hierarchy and humanitas in Olympic ritual / John MacAlloon

MacAloon, John J

The Olympic victory ceremony is a globally familiar and highly stable ritual form of the world system of nation states. In this article, the medal ceremony is placed within the overarching Olympic ritual process, and its evocative power is attributed to its symbolic treatment of the relationship between individual, national and human identities in modern worlds. The ritual asserts and performs the compatibility of these identities in the face of all the horrific counter‐evidence of the 20th century and today; it presents a very specific strategy for symbolically handling exclusionary nationalism.


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