Concussion in Sport: Public, Professional and Critical Sociologies

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Loughborough University
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This article explores the emerging agenda in relation to concussion in sport to illustrate the threats and opportunities currently faced by the sociology of sport as an academic sub-discipline. The article begins by delineating aspects of the “crisis” in sociology, Burawoy’s  call for an enhanced public sociology as a (part) solution, and responses to these ideas within the sociology of sport. It then identifies how the engagement of sociologists in this terrain must be understood in relation to the recent medicalization of sports-related concussion, and illustrates the impact of this on sociologists of sport through an examination of recent social scientific scholarship in relation to concussion. It argues that a successful public sociology of sport should be predicated on the subdiscipline’s distinctive contribution to the production of knowledge. To this end, the article concludes by reporting the findings of an empirical study of concussion in English professional soccer, to outline a framework for sportrelated health research, and thus the basis on which a socially influential sociology of concussion in sport could develop.

Malcolm is with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom.

Address author correspondence to Dominic Malcolm at D.E.Malcolm@lboro.ac.uk.
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