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Solimine, "If you build it...: A "different story" of the re-emergence of baseball in China, the people who play it, and why," 2006

USC thesis in Cultural Anthropology.
August 21, 2009
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Kaitlin Solimine, M.A

Abstract (Summary)

In 2004 an estimated 156,000 people played baseball in China (Washburn, "In Search of Baseball's Yao Ming")---up from 10,000 in 2001 (Coffey, "Fine China: Nation of a Billion Takes Best Swing at Baseball"). This paper addresses this growing popularity, as framed by globalization. Using historical sources and modern-day ethnographic research, the work examines why baseball is experiencing a revival in China and whether or not baseball's rise is the result of a more homogenized world or if baseball in China speaks to a unique set of social, political and economic mores---a "different story" than that in other nations. The narrative reinforces the hypothesis that globalization does not imply homogenization; in fact, there are significant local redefinitions that occur when an otherwise foreign sport is imported abroad.

Advisor: Cooper, Eugene

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