Football in Singapore: A Global, Historical, and Social Phenomenon

Football in Singapore: A Global, Historical, and Social Phenomenon

Ken Peh
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7527-8.ch012
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This chapter discusses the development of association football as a national phenomenon in Singapore with respect to its wider social and historical background. Asia's and Singapore's contact with Western sport has to be understood in relation to a process of both appreciation for and cultural resistance to it. The discussion looks at football's development and associated problems in the country at a historical and social angle, and from the three perspectives of “globalization,” “individual level,” and “national society level,” with the hope of providing a concise but inclusive analysis of the de facto “national sport” in Singapore. From the perspective of sport management, this chapter intends to make readers appreciate the notion that over more than 100 years of historical process football has developed into a popular cultural phenomenon in the country: an icon that is worthy of protection and promotion for its potential social and commercial benefits.
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1. The Origin Of Sport In Asia And Singapore

The development in the sport of football entails an evolutionary process which can be understood within a universal historical framework involving the world, Asia and the West. In order to provide a holistic understanding of its development processes, it is therefore important to begin with appreciating the macro-level background related to the sporting world.

The world of humanity is characterized by constant flux and change. Human civilization is primarily driven by the dynamic processes of movement, engagement and evolution- a powerful process which involves resistance, conflict, and adaptation of cultural values, norms and conduct. The process very much depends upon the workings in the minds and actions of people who ultimately decide the developmental direction and outcome of any human cultural phenomenon.

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