Sports development is tied to the dynamics of global flows and power relations. While Western nations dominate the modern sports world, other regions’ sports are marginalized in favor of European and North American elites. Asian and African cultures are a good example of this phenomenon, but they are increasingly challenging the dominant notions of male bodies in sports. Nonetheless, sports continue to be important in human society. They serve as a source of entertainment and a way to express identity.

The orchestration of emotions in sports starts with arousing expectations and then directs that diffuse emotional state into identifiable displays. Elite athletes internalize scripts from their coaches, while media pundits contribute to the management of fans’ emotions during games. Fans, meanwhile, are prompt to express a wide range of emotions during a game. This is one way that sports have helped build national identity. To make sense of this phenomenon, it is helpful to examine the cultural, historical, and contemporary context of emotions in sports.

Sport socialization is the process of training young people to compete with one another. It has been recognized for many years. State support of physical education and adult-organized children’s sports programs have helped promote the socialization of sports. It has been shown that sports involvement helps young people develop desirable traits and behaviors, including an innate desire to win. However, the definition of sport is subject to different cultural contexts. The value of sports participation depends on who is socializing them and where they are located.