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Berkeley Talks: Sociologist Harry Edwards on sport in society (revisiting)

By Public Affairs

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harry edwards holds his fist in the air to express solidarity and power
Harry Edwards is a renowned sports activist and UC Berkeley professor emeritus of sociology.

Courtesy of Harry Edwards

In Berkeley Talks episode 138, Harry Edwards, a renowned sports activist and UC Berkeley professor emeritus of sociology, discusses the intersections of race and sport, the history of predatory inclusion, athletes’ struggle for definitional authority and the power of sport to change society.

"You can change society by changing people’s perceptions and understandings of the games they play," Edwards said at a March 2022 campus event sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI) and Cal Athletics.

"I’m saying whether it’s race relations in America, whether it’s relations between the United States and the Soviet Union and China, whether it’s what’s going on in South Africa with apartheid, you can leverage sport to change people’s perceptions and understandings of those relationships. Change society by changing people’s perceptions and understandings of the games they play."

This episode first ran on Berkeley Talks in April 2022.

Watch a video of the talk on ISSI’s YouTube page.

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