Author: Douglas Booth
Category: Sports & Recreation
Over the last decade extreme has become a popular adjective to describe a range of physical pursuits and activities such as bungee jumping, dirt biking, skysurfing and street luge. Yet, notwithstanding its widespread usage, extreme remains largely a connotative term to differentiate individualistic, adventure-type sports with high aesthetic components from more functional and traditional team sports such as baseball, basketball, cricket, football and hockey. However, as well as its physical characteristics extreme also connotes an ideological dimension that refers to a range of anti-social attitudes, many of which are embodied and stand in sharp contrast to conservative, mainstream middle-class sporting values. Indeed, the ideology of extreme attracts as much attention among scholars interested in the study of sport as the physical elements. The Encyclopedia of Extreme Sports offers a comprehensive dissection of this new and emerging phenomenon, and its characteristics, philosophy, ideology, functions, history and future. component-risk-from a number of disciplinary perspectives including history, sociology, psychology, theology and physiology. In examining the history of individual extreme sports, the Encyclopedia explores ancient, feudal and cross-cultural forms while also looking at the appeal of modern extreme activities to entrepreneurs, marketers, advertisers and the media as they seek to connect with consumers in the critical 13-34-age cohort. The commercialization of extreme sports as well as their institutionalization-formation of governing bodies, grand prix circuits, and inclusion in traditional mega-events such as the Olympic Games-highlights another critical dimension addressed by the Encyclopedia, their contradictory and paradoxical nature. As numerous commentators have observed, participants in extreme sports are typically no less racist, sexist and class and status conscious than their brothers and sisters participating in mainstream sports. cross-cultural and historical extreme sports; thematic essays; biographies of leading extreme exponents; descriptions of the best known extreme playgrounds.