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Sport History in the Digital Era$
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Gary Osmond and Murray G. Phillips

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038938

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038938.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Who’s Afraid of the Internet?

Who’s Afraid of the Internet?

Swimming in an Infinite Archive

(p.227) 10 Who’s Afraid of the Internet?
Sport History in the Digital Era

Fiona Mclachlan

Douglas Booth

University of Illinois Press

This chapter argues that the Internet and its broad array of social media effectively constitute an endless historical archive that immerses historians “in an expanded, and expanding, collection of fragments.” This immersion coincides time-wise with changing historical approaches that embrace cultural forms and new ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies. Using three historical genres—reconstructionism, constructionism, and deconstructionism—the chapter analyzes the ways that sport historians do, and could, engage with the Internet. For reconstructionists, the Internet facilitates research by providing access to sites, artifacts, news, and official documents, but does not fundamentally alter practice. Constructionists use social theory to investigate not only the documents and other remnants of the past but also the repositories of those items, such as libraries, archives, museums, and the Internet itself. Meanwhile, for deconstructionists—who focus on the production and form of historical narratives—the Internet changes the way narratives are represented and understood and enables new ways of arranging and presenting subject matter.

Keywords:   Internet, social media, historical archive, reconstructionism, constructionism, deconstructionism, social theory, historical narratives

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