Kathmandu is arguably the most pumped up city in South Asia when it comes to following the FIFA World Cup. It is common to find people donning jerseys of their favorite team with gusto. Though the national team from Nepal might be light years away from participating in the tournament, passion for the game in Nepal is as high as anywhere. It is easy to overlook this practice by saying that Nepal is a football (or for that matter any sports) loving country, but as a student of sociology one is fascinated by this phenomena and is compelled to think about what is called the sociology of sport.
Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology offers some interesting papers like sociology of tourism, urban sociology and sociology of education among others but there are hardly any students interested in these subjects and the department too is reluctant about teaching these papers for the reasons of “logistics”. When most gifted sociologists and students are busy discussing and debating about such grand issues like whether Nepal is quarter/semi or fully capitalist and identity politics, emphasizing significance of sociology of sport in the emerging middle class society of Nepal seems “bourgeoisie” if not an anathema. In this essay, I am outlining some key ingredients of the sociology of sport and what can be studied and researched in this domain in our society. Continue reading →