Sociology of sport

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Sociology of sport, alternately referred to as sports sociology, is a sub-discipline of sociology which focuses on sports as social phenomena. It is an area of study concerned with various socio-cultural structures, patterns, and organizations or groups involved with sport.

There are many perspectives through which sport can be viewed. Therefore, very often some binary divisions are stressed, such as: professional vs. amateur, mass vs. top-level, active vs. passive/spectator, men vs. women, sports vs. play (as an antithesis to organized and institutionalized activity). Following feminist or other reflexive and tradition-breaking paradigms sports are sometimes studied as contested activities, i.e. as activities in the centre of various people/groups interests (connection of sports and gender, mass media, or state-politics).

The emergence of the sociology of sport (though not the name itself) dates from the end of the 19th century, when first social psychological experiments dealing with group effects of competition and pace-making took place. Besides cultural anthropology and its interest in games in the human culture, one of the first efforts to think about sports in a more general way was Johan Huizinga's Homo Ludens or Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class.[1] In 1970, sports sociology gained significant attention as an organized, legitimate field of study. The North American Society for the Sociology of Sport was formed in 1978 with the objective of studying the field. Its research outlet, the Sociology of Sport Journal, was formed in 1984.

Today, most sports sociologists identify with at least one of four essential theories that define the relationship between sports and society, namely structural functionalism, conflict theory, critical theory, and symbolic interactionism.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lueschen, G. 1980. Sociology of Sport: Development, Present State, and Prospects. Annual Review of Sociology, 6: 315 — 347.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bourdieu, Pierre (1993). How can one be a sports fan?. London: Routledge In The Cultural Studies Reader, During, S. (ed.). pp. 339–355. ISBN 0-415-07708-7. OCLC 28818343. 
  • Brohm, Jean-Marie : Sport: A Prison of Measured Time, Pluto Press, 1987
  • Cashmore, Ernest (2000). Sports Culture: An A-Z Guide. London, UK; New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-18169-0. OCLC 41548336. 
  • Coakley, Jay J. (2004). Sport in Society: Issues and Controversies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-255657-9. OCLC 51631598. 
  • Coakley, Jay J. (1998). Sport in Society. Issues and Controversies (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-8151-2027-3. OCLC 36865585. 
  • Collins, Michael F. and Tess Kay (2003). Sport and Social Exclusion. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-25959-2. OCLC 51527713. 
  • Danielson, Michael N. (1997). Home Team: Professional Sports and the American Metropolis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-03650-0. OCLC 35397761. 
  • Dunning, Eric and Dominic Malcolm (editors) (2003). Sport. London, UK; New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-26292-5. OCLC 51222256. 
  • Dunning, Eric and Kenneth Sheard (2005). Barbarians, Gentlemen and Players: A Sociological Study of the Development of Rugby Football (2nd ed.). London, UK; New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-5353-5. OCLC 55665559. 
  • Dyck, Noel (2000). Games, Sports and Cultures. Oxford: Berg. ISBN 1-85973-312-3. OCLC 44485325. 
  • Dunleavy, Aidan O.; Andrew W. Miracle & C. Roger Rees (1982). Studies in the Sociology of Sport. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press. ISBN 0-912646-78-0. OCLC 8762539. 
  • Eitzen, D. Stanley and George Harvey Sage (2003). Sociology of North American Sport (7th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-235400-3. OCLC 49276709. 
  • Giulianotti, Richard (2005). Sport: A Critical Sociology. Oxford, UK; Malden, MA: Polity. ISBN 0-7456-2545-2. OCLC 56659449. 
  • Freccero Renata, & Gleyse Jacques (2001). La Fabrica dei corpi. Torino: Levrotto & Bella. 
  • Giulianotti, Richard (2004). Sport and Modern Social Theorists. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-80078-8. OCLC 55095622. 
  • Guttmann, Allen (2004). From Ritual to Record: The Nature of Modern Sports (Updated with a new afterword ed.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-13341-3. OCLC 54503875. 
  • Gleyse, Jacques (2006) [1995]. Archéologie de l'Education physique au XXe siècle en France. Paris: P.U.F. 
  • Gleyse, Jacques (1997). L'Instrumentalisation du corps. Paris, Montréal: L'harmattan. 
  • Guttmann, Allen (1994). Games and Empires. Modern Sports and Cultural Imperialism. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-10042-6. OCLC 30036883. 
  • Heywood, Leslie, and Shari L. Dworkin (2003). Built to Win: The Female Athlete as Cultural Icon. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-3623-0. OCLC 51304091. 
  • Horne, John, and Wolfram Manzenreiter (2006). Sports Mega-Events: Social Scientific Analyses of a Global Phenomenon. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub./Sociological Review. ISBN 1-4051-5290-7. OCLC 70131129. 
  • Houlihan, Barrie (editor) (2003). Sport and Society: A Student Introduction. London, UK; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN 0-7619-7033-9. OCLC 52460691. 
  • Jarvie, Grant & Maguire, Joseph (1994). Sport and Leisure in Social Thought. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-07703-6. OCLC 30030487. 
  • Jarvie, Grant (2006). Sport, Culture and Society. An Introduction. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-30647-7. OCLC 60650865. 
  • Jay, Kathryn (2004). More than just a Game: Sports in American Life since 1945. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12534-8. OCLC 54503879. 
  • Johnson, Jay and Margery Jean Holman (2004). Making the Team: Inside the World of Sport Initiations and Hazing. Toronto, Canada: Canadian Scholars' Press. ISBN 1-55130-247-0. OCLC 55973445. 
  • Jones, Robyn L. and Kathleen M. Armour (2000). Sociology of Sport: Theory and Practice. Harlow, Essex, England: Longman. ISBN 0-582-41912-3. OCLC 46486583. 
  • Laker, Anthony (2002). The Sociology of Sport and Physical Education: An Introductory Reader. London, UK; New York, NY: RoutledgeFalmer. ISBN 0-415-23593-6. OCLC 46732587. 
  • Lenskyj, Helen Jefferson, Out on the Field: Gender, Sport and Sexualities. Toronto: Women's Press, 2003
  • Loland, Sigmund, Berit Skirstad, and Ivan Waddington (2006). Pain and Injury in Sport: Social and Ethical Analysis. London, UK; New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-35703-9. OCLC 60453764. 
  • Maguire, Joseph A. (2002). Sport Worlds: A Sociological Perspective. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. ISBN 0-88011-972-1. OCLC 48162875. 
  • Maguire, Joseph A. and Kevin Young (editors) (2002). Theory, Sport & Society. Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Boston, MA: JAI. ISBN 0-7623-0742-0. OCLC 48837757. 
  • Markovits, Andrei S. and Steven L. Hellerman (2001). Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-07446-1. OCLC 44728123. 
  • Millward, Peter (2011) The Global Football League: Transnational Networks, Social Movements and Sport in the New Media Age. Palgrave
  • Nixon, Howard L. (2008). Sport in a Changing World. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59451-442-5. OCLC 181368766. 
  • Scambler, Graham (2005). Sport and Society: History, Power and Culture. Maidenhead, England; New York, NY: Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-21071-6. OCLC 58554471. 
  • Scraton, Sheila and Anne Flintoff (2002). Gender and Sport: A Reader. London, UK; New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-25952-5. OCLC 47255389. 
  • Sugden, John Peter and Alan Tomlinson (2002). Power Games: A Critical Sociology of Sport. London, England; New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-25100-1. OCLC 50291216. 
  • Tomlinson, Alan (2005). Sport and Leisure Cultures. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-3382-7. OCLC 57000964. 
  • Tomlinson, Alan and Christopher Young (2006). National Identity and Global Sports Events: Culture, Politics, and Spectacle in the Olympics and the Football World Cup. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-6615-9. OCLC 57349033. 
  • Wacquant, Loïc J D (2004). Body & Soul: Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer. Oxford, UK; New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516835-6. OCLC 51607336. 
  • Waddington, Ivan (2000). Sport, Health and Drugs: A Critical Sociological Perspective. London, UK; New York, NY: E & FN Spon. ISBN 0-419-25190-1. OCLC 42692125. 
  • Wann, Daniel L.; et al. (2001). Sport Fans: The Psychology and Social Impact of Spectators. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-92463-4. OCLC 43951793. 
  • Woods, Ron B. (2007). Social Issues in Sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. ISBN 0-7360-5872-9. OCLC 70673116. 
  • Woodward, Kath (2007). Boxing, Masculinity and Identity: The 'I' of the Tiger. London. UK; New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-36770-0. OCLC 70158331. 
  • Yiannakis, Andrew and Merrill J. Melnick (2001). Contemporary Issues in Sociology of Sport (Revised ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. ISBN 0-7360-3710-1. OCLC 45207842. 
  • Young, Kevin (editor) (2004). Sporting Bodies, Damaged Selves: Sociological Studies of Sports-Related Injury. Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Boston, MA: Elsevier. ISBN 0-7623-0884-2. OCLC 57066508. 
  • Young, Kevin and Kevin B. Wamsley (2005). Global Olympics: Historical and Sociological Studies of the Modern Games. Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Oxford, UK: Elsevier JAI. ISBN 978-0-7623-1181-1. OCLC 62133166. 
  • Young, Kevin and Philip White (2007). Sport and Gender in Canada (2nd ed.). Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-541987-1. OCLC 70062619. 

External links[edit]