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The National Football Museum And Sporting Heritage

4239 words - 17 pages

This paper will discuss the National Football Museum as a case study for sport heritage, now located at the Urbis building in Manchester city centre; originally found in Preston, but moved to Manchester city centre in 2012. The topics related too in this paper, are the types of heritage and identity represented by the museum, since the National Football Museum was founded to preserve, conserve and interpret numerous significant collections of football memorabilia and collectables from the sport of football. It is also connected to the identities of many individuals, groups and nations displaying its prominence on a global scale. Therefore is seems apparent that the topic concerned is by ...view middle of the document...

It is part of the way identities are created and disputed, whether as individual, group or nation state”
Sport can be considered heritage. This statement has very little to do with whether sport is significant as a historical or cultural resource, but rather, it is recognizing that anything can be heritage, tangible or non-tangible, as heritage is not a fixed resource as noted by Howard. Every product of human cultural activity can be considered to be heritage, regardless of when, where and why it was produced and regardless as to who considers it to be heritage; “Strictly, every piece of evidence of early human activity should be categorized as an artefact.” Sport therefore, can be considered heritage simply for the reason that people wish to make it heritage. This is because as argued by Ashworth and Smith there is no such ‘thing’ as heritage. Heritage is not automatically just the artefact itself like a childhood toy, a building, a natural landscape such as Machu Picchu, or some tangible item from the past; it can also be much more like oral traditions and social practices that are non-tangible. Moreover, in Ashworth’s words, heritage is not “an object or a site but…a process and an outcome: it uses objects and sites as vehicles for the transmission of ideas in the service of a wide range of contemporary social needs” or, as Smith contends, “heritage is…ultimately a cultural practice, involved in the construction and regulation of a wide range of values and understandings.” Heritage, as a result, is a creation of the present, driven by the requirements, tastes, and ideals of that particular present and its people, which uses material objects from the past, whether they are relics, or memories. This essay, therefore, contests the general agreement of the understanding of heritage as not just a physical artefact, by supporting a methodology which treats heritage as a cultural process.

It can be argued that museums are institutions that seek to preserve the existing class structure due to it being an activity of the upper class in order to maintain an intellectual separation. Moreover, Museums can also be seen as institutions that create professional identities such as a sports fan as in the case of the national football museum. Little is actually known about the progression of becoming a sports fan; this therefore raises a captivating problem, how do individuals create and maintain a sports fan identity? To briefly explore some of the existing definitions of sport fans, sports involvement can be seen as revolving around the concept of perceived interest and the personal importance of sports to an individual. Jones suggests that spectators will observe a sport and then forget about it, while fans will have more intensity and will devote parts of every day to the team or the sport itself. Fandom has also been defined as “an affiliation in which a great deal of emotional significance and value are derived from group membership.” Spinrad...

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