"Amoral universalism": mediating and staging global and local in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games


This paper is a case study that critically analyzes the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games. The Olympics are a gigantic global event, largely as a result of significant global media attention, particularly through television and corporate sponsors. However, these entities simultaneously need a specific locale in which to operate. Analytically, the paper focuses on interactions between the global media actors and the host city and its people. It argues that the commercialized nature of the Olympic Games controls not only the program, but also numerous aspects of the local host city to maximize benefit for the media. This paper reviews how historically and structurally the media were able to obtain such extensive control. Then, it argues how the media actually control the locale through the initial bid, the process of preparation, the Games, and even the aftermath.


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Atsushi Tajima
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