In Austria sports history is situated between history (which is not interested in sports) and physical education (which is no longer interested in history). Although sports history enjoyed a long tradition at Vienna University, academic research in the field trickled to a halt in the 1980s. From the beginning of the 1990s, however, a new sports history emerged in the work of academic freelancers who came from different research disciplines. On the basis of this interdisciplinary approach they established a wide-ranging field of research based primarily on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and the British model of cultural studies. Initially, their work dealt with the obvious topic of soccer, but over the last decade, the focus has broadened to embrace questions of nationalism, migration, masculinity and gender, body politics, and space as well as other forms of sport and the nature of sporting cultures in general.

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