In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that higher education in the United States is experiencing somewhat of a paradigm shift. We are being challenged to reform our institutions in order to respond to changing societal needs resulting from the fast-paced, digital transformation of industries, societal systems, and our daily lives. The member institutions of the American Academy of Kinesiology will need to think long and hard about how they will respond to these challenges. America’s universities have a responsibility to be a catalyst for the human-centric, technology-driven transformation of sectors such as transportation, agriculture, medicine, public health, clean energy, and manufacturing, among others, and to provide the vision, leadership, and innovation that such workforce transformation demands. Within the academy, we rightly take great pride in our long-standing contributions to the development and deployment of breakthrough discoveries and innovations that have contributed to the transformation of society. However, we have begun to realize that our institutions will need to bring this same commitment to innovation to our teaching, curricula, and instructional programs. Addressing these new areas of need and opportunity will require institutional innovation and reform, for us and for the postsecondary education sector generally. I believe that American Kinesiology Association member departments can play a significant role in the transformation of higher education at our institutions. I am delighted that the American Kinesiology Association has begun to think through how these changes will impact the future of our discipline. I am both optimistic and excited about the many ways that American Kinesiology Association member institutions will continue to play a leading role in the new higher education reality.
Transforming Higher Education
Envisioning the Expansion and Continuity of the Cross-Generational Conversation in Women’s Sport and Physical Activity
Yeomi Choi, Akilah Carter-Francique, DeAnne Davis Brooks, Judy Liao, and Katherine M. Jamieson
Roots of Resistance: The Origins of the Black Women in Sport Foundation and the Politics of Race and Gender
Raja Malikah Rahim and Rita Liberti
Tina Sloan Green, Nikki Franke, Alpha Alexander, and Linda Greene represent an integral part of a culture of Black women in sports who created a place and space for themselves and others in opposition to the long history of racism and sexism that suffused sports in the United States and global world. As founders of the Black Women in Sport Foundation (BWSF), their activism and organizing on behalf of Black women and girls in, and beyond sport, is as varied as it is vast. While the founders have been interviewed about the BWSF numerous times throughout their respective careers, those interviews fail to capture the paths that led them to successful careers or the incorporation of the BWSF. Using oral history narratives, this paper contends that their experiences from childhood to young adulthood offer incredible insights about the origins and evolution of their critical consciousness around race and gender that emerged during their formative years. It illuminates the familial, communal, educational, and sporting legacies of BWSF founders from childhood to the mid-to-late 1970s, when their worlds collided at Temple University. Their histories underscore how they navigated and negotiated the ideologies of racism and sexism from childhood to adulthood. As young Black women who lived before the passage of Title IX, their stories depict the early struggles and successes of women and girls’ participation in sports and broader society. Individually and collectively, BWSF founders’ oral history narratives offer a great understanding of Black women in sports and society in the past and present.
Assessing the Social Media Landscape in Sport: Evaluating the Present and Identifying Future Opportunities
Gashaw Abeza and Jimmy Sanderson
This article introduces a special issue of the International Journal of Sport Communication containing insightful commentaries by distinguished scholars in social media scholarship in sports studies. By inviting 25 scholars in the field, who contributed a total of 16 scholarly commentaries, the issue benefits from their extensive knowledge of the interplay between social media and sport. The scholarly commentaries address current trends, critique methods, challenge theories, and propose fresh approaches to understanding the impact of social media in sport. These scholars offer unique perspectives, innovative methodologies, and engaging writing that caters to a diverse readership. The articles provide valuable critiques; shed light on critical issues, controversies, and gaps in knowledge; and identify future directions for sport and social media scholarship to traverse. Importantly, the diverse perspectives presented in this issue stimulate academic dialogue and foster productive discussions within the field of social media in sport studies.
Social Media and Sport Studies (2014–2023): A Critical Review
Building on the foundational study conducted by Abeza et al., this work extends the investigation by critically reviewing social media research in sport studies published from June 2014 to June 2023. Methodologically, the review involved an examination of 153 original research articles from five prominent journals in sport communication and sport management, namely the International Journal of Sport Communication, Communication & Sport, Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review, and European Sport Management Quarterly. The study identified the research streams, platforms, theories, and research methods that have garnered attention in the social media research community. The findings reveal several key insights that contribute to the ongoing dialogue in the field, stimulating further exploration and advancing knowledge at the intersection of social media and sport.
Special Issue Introduction: Name, Image, and Likeness and the National Collegiate Athletic Association
Steven Salaga, Natasha Brison, Joseph Cooper, Daniel Rascher, and Andy Schwarz
Critiquing the Social Media Scholarship in Sport Studies: Looking Beyond Content and Adopting Critical Approaches
Social media and sport research has produced a significant corpus of academic literature. This work has enhanced our understanding of the influence of social media in various areas of the sport industry. This work, however, has often glamorized social media and its benefits, leading to a normalization about social media that obscures its negative effects and impacts in sport. This commentary reflects on how social media and sport research has evolved over time and calls for more consideration to be given to critical approaches to social media research that look beyond analysis of social media content. The commentary specifically addresses areas of inquiry around athlete welfare and social media, social media and young athletes, and social media professionals and their work environment. The commentary aims to encourage more critical perspectives related to social media that will enhance the inclusivity of the social media and sport literature.
Maximal Strength Training as a Pathway to Positive Body Image: A Qualitative Exploration of the Experiences of Female Powerlifters
Erin L. Kelly, Michelle Minehan, and Kate Pumpa
This study considers the potential relationship between maximal strength training and positive body image by exploring the lived experiences of female powerlifters. Semistructured interviews were conducted with eight female powerlifters from Australia, and data were analyzed thematically. The study identified five themes related to positive body image and participation in maximal strength training: (a) appreciation of the functionality of the body, (b) embodiment, (c) rejection of societal body ideals and self-objectification, (d) self-compassion and body image flexibility, and (e) being surrounded by a body-positive community. These findings are consistent with existing literature on positive body image and participation in activities that promote embodiment. There is value in further investigation of maximal strength training as an intervention to develop positive body image in women.
I “Like” It: The Effects of Social Media Platform and Message on Consumer Engagement Actions
Rebecca M. Achen, Ashley Stadler-Blank, and John J. Sailors
The academic literature reports mixed evidence on how social media platform and message impact consumer engagement. We investigated the effects of three platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and three message themes (sales, informational, and relationship building) on six consumer engagement actions (comment, like, search, share, talk about, and purchase) in a lab experiment. College students responded to social media posts featuring their National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I women’s basketball team. Results for platform show that participants were more likely to comment on Facebook and Twitter (vs. Instagram) and more likely to purchase on Twitter (vs. Instagram). Results for message theme show that participants were more likely to comment, like, and share informational and relationship building posts and more likely to purchase after sales posts. Results for message theme vary by gender for search and talk about (with others). These results can help sport marketers develop social media content that drives specific engagement actions.
Bullying and Physical Education: A Scoping Review
Mengyi Wei and Kim C. Graber
This scoping review aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of physical education (PE) literature related to bullying. The review was outlined and guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist. All English-language articles published in peer-reviewed journals that focused on bullying and PE were included. Thematic analysis was used to summarize data extracted from the selected literature. In total, 43 articles conducted in 16 countries were included in this scoping review. Results identified individual-, peer-, school-, and family-level factors that trigger bullying in PE. The impacts of bullying in PE, antibullying strategies and interventions, and summary of future study directions are also discussed. Results from the study highlighted the importance of adopting social ecological perspectives to address bullying behavior and guide antibullying interventions in PE. Physical activities that can potentially promote children’s social emotional learning are also needed to reduce and prevent bullying in PE.