This article examines an area that has received surprisingly little attention within the sociology of sport literature: the role of human movement and the ways in which it can be understood and valued. Drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Judith Butler, in this article, the authors have raised the possibility of sporting “movement capital.” The authors argued that rules and regulations produce and legitimize particular types of movements, which are then reinforced through institutionalized athlete development practices and able to be converted to symbolic capital. However, movements might also be valued as demonstrating particular traits and/or invoking emotional reactions, and be recognized as familiar. The authors concluded that, through identifying the connections between Bourdieu’s habitus and Butler’s performativity, they can understand how the value of movement is constantly in-flux, constantly regenerating as athletes imperfectly produce and reproduce recognizable movements as part of their sporting habitus.
Roslyn Kerr and Seònaid Mary-Kate Espiner
Ken Muir, Eric Anderson, Keith D. Parry, and David Letts
Rugby has traditionally existed as a leading definer of masculinity in British culture, which has included overt homophobia. However, cultural attitudes toward homosexuality have improved rapidly in the 21st century. To assess the impact of wider societal change on gay rugby teams, we employed a multiple methods investigation across five gay rugby teams in England. Results show that, whereas athletes once played for these teams to escape homophobia in broader rugby culture, this is no longer true. Affiliation with gay clubs is now primarily for social purposes, and gay rugby clubs now protect the physical safety of gay men from being less prepared to play the game, whereas before it was safety from homophobia. This research shows that gay rugby clubs have undergone an organizational shift in response to the increased social acceptance of sexual minorities.
Adam Love, Sam Winemiller, Guy Harrison, and Jason Stamm
College football programs invest millions of dollars into recruiting top high school prospects. This recruiting process is covered extensively by reporters from sports media outlets. While the players being recruited are predominately Black, the sports media is disproportionately dominated by White men. In this context, the current study reports on data from interviews with 15 participants who work in the college football recruiting media industry. While some participants adopted a color-blind perspective dominated by a belief that racism no longer exists, most reporters expressed an awareness of racial stereotypes in the sports media and felt a need to address racial inequity. Such awareness presents an opportunity for anti-racist training that may help media members avoid racial stereotyping and address racism in the field.
Aaron C. Mansfield, Matthew Katz, and Elizabeth B. Delia
Simultaneous to the sport industry’s economic surge, physical health has become an issue of growing societal concern. Fandom and health consciousness have concurrently emerged, yet scholars have not explored the social–psychological relationship between the two. To this end, we conducted semistructured, in-depth interviews with 17 self-identified health-conscious sport fans. We leverage identity theory to highlight these individuals’ “identity work.” Participants’ experiences were reflective of both identity conflict and identity integration. The outcome that manifested—conflict or integration—appeared to hinge on psychological and sociological variables. In sharing their stories, we contribute to a growing literature on role identity negotiation in sport fandom, in addition to providing insights on health-minded sport fans.
Christoph Breuer, Svenja Feiler, and Lea Rossi
Coaches play a vital role in providing sports programs. Investing in formal coach education can serve to increase coaches’ human capital, which in turn, has a positive effect on their coaching practice. The present study investigates factors influencing coaches’ intention to get training for their coaching activity on an individual and organizational level. Nationwide online surveys were conducted in Germany on both nonprofit sports clubs and coaches being active within these clubs. Data were analyzed using multilevel regression analysis on a sample of n = 2,384 coaches in n = 1,274 clubs. Results show that especially the expiring validity of the coaching license, aspects of personal development, and low transaction costs are crucial factors for the intention to obtain a qualification. The results lead to several implications for theory and practice. Clubs could enhance the qualification intention and, thereby, the quality of sports programs by appointing a contact person who informs about qualification possibilities.
Richard J. Paulsen
This paper uses game-level Major League Baseball data to identify whether players with greater job security shirk in their preparation between games. Past work has identified evidence of moral hazard arising in multiyear Major League Baseball player contracts, but little work has been done in identifying when shirking takes place. Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, this study finds evidence of an inverse relationship between the number of years remaining on player contracts and performance when the player is playing on short rest, when opportunity to rest is scarce, but not on long rest. Using a triple-difference specification, evidence is found that this inverse relationship between years remaining on a player’s contract when playing on short rest occurs for games played in “party cities.” This evidence would suggest that between game preparation is one avenue through which players on multiyear contracts shirk.
Anna Kavoura, Alex Channon, and Marja Kokkonen
This study focuses on transgender experiences in martial arts. Interviews with three Finnish and two British transgender martial artists were thematically analyzed, and findings were interpreted through the lens of queer theory. Two themes were identified related to the ways that transgender martial artists experience their sporting contexts, namely martial arts as an empowering and inclusive context and the challenges related to being transgender in martial arts. Two themes were also identified when it comes to participants’ strategies for coping with cis-/heteronormativity in martial arts. Whenever possible, participants employed social change strategies, whereas other times, they drew on self-care strategies. Following this, we suggest a need for context-specific, protective policies; nonbinary means of organizing sport; and gender diversity education for instructors to better cater for the specific needs of transgender people in sport.
Iain Lindsey and Gareth Wiltshire
Frequent calls for sport for development (SFD) to be reoriented toward transformative social change reflect the extent that policies and programs have instead focused on individualized forms of personal development. However, SFD research has yet to substantially address fundamental ontological assumptions and underlying conceptualizations of transformative social change. To addresses this gap, this article considers how Margaret Archer’s Morphogenetic Approach can help explain how transformative social change might occur through SFD activities. Three conceptual contributions are brought into focus: (a) assuming a realist social ontology; (b) making distinctions between structure, culture, and agency; and (c) identifying social change as happening across three temporal phases. The authors conclude by identifying potential benefits and implications of applying the Morphogenetic Approach to consider the potential for SFD to contribute to social change.