Talking about the ‘rotten fruits’ of Rio 2016: Framing mega-event legacies

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Abstract

Legacy has become a watchword of hosting mega-events in recent years, used to justify massive spending and far-reaching urban transformations. However, academic studies of legacy outcomes suggest there is only limited evidence for the efficacy of using mega-events to deliver broader policy goals. The discourse of legacy promulgated by the International Olympic Committee promotes a fantastical vision of the possibilities created by mega-events while obfuscating critical analyses of legacy. This paper explores legacy talk among a wholly different group – activists who have protested against the Olympic Games, specifically in Rio de Janeiro – based on interviews conducted two years after the Games as part of a broader ethnographic study. The positive connotations of legacy, even among these Olympic critics, places a straitjacket on conversation, leading activists to discuss specific legacy projects, at the expense of highlighting the very real harms of mega-event development, such as evictions, gentrification and militarization. As such, there is a need to deepen understanding that legacy encompasses all that is left behind after mega-events, not only the positive impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
JournalInternational Review For the Sociology of Sport
Volume(In-Press)
Early online date2 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.

Keywords

  • discourse
  • framing
  • legacy
  • mega-events
  • Rio 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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