Diversifying (and Politicizing) Sport Psychology through Cultural Studies: A Promising Perspective

in The Sport Psychologist
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The central purpose of this paper is to speculate on the ways that sport psychology researchers, educators, and practitioners can use a cultural studies perspective to enhance their research and applied work. At base, cultural studies critiques and challenges existing norms and practices and examines how these practices affect people in their everyday lives (Hall, 1996a). Although cultural studies has been notoriously difficult to define (see Storey, 1996), most cultural studies projects deal with the interrelated issues of (a) social difference, (b) the distribution of power, and (c) social justice. In this paper, cultural studies is first defined, incorporating sport-related examples wherever possible. Next, key concepts in cultural studies including power, privilege, and praxis are explored. We then discuss how sport psychology scholars and practitioners might promote an “athletes-as-citizens” (Sage, 1993) model of service provision in the applied setting.

Leslee Fisher is with the Department of Sport and Leisure Studies at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. E-mail: lfisher2@utk.edu. Ted Butryn is with the Department of Human Performance at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. Emily Roper is with the Department of Kinesiology at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

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