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Through the Decades: Critical Race Theory and Pathways Forward in Sport Sociology Research

Jonathan E. Howe, Ajhanai C.I. Keaton, Sayvon J.L. Foster, and A. Lamont Williams

Critical race theory (CRT) is a powerful framework and methodological tool for sport scholars and practitioners to incorporate into their work. While CRT tenets vary depending on discipline, individuals utilizing the framework understand the permanence of racism and how it is institutionalized within various social structures. In honor of the 40th year of the Sociology of Sport Journal, we conducted a review of the journal to assess how CRT has been used among sport sociologists. After reflecting on the 40-year history of Sociology of Sport Journal, we argue for the continued use of CRT and CRT extensions to fulfill the maximum potential of this foundational framework to achieve its goals of emancipation, social justice, and racial equity. We conclude by discussing the future of CRT in sport sociology research and practice in a post “racial reckoning” society, specifically within the U.S. context.

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Beyond Reconciliation: Calling for Land-Based Analyses in the Sociology of Sport

Ali Durham Greey and Alexandra Arellano

This article examines the possibilities engendered by land-based analyses within the sociology of sport. We examine how “Canada’s” Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action on sport reproduce a logic of social inclusion, one which assimilates Indigenous athletes and Peoples into settler models of sport. To consider epistemological tools for unsettling settler sport systems, we turn to critical Indigenous scholarship on land-based analyses and pedagogies. To illustrate the possibilities of land-based analyses, we examine lacrosse, an Indigenous sporting practice with roots embedded in relational interconnectedness with the land. A land-based approach to sport offers opportunities for revising the assumptions, values, and ethics underpinning settler models of sport through, for example, emphasizing the importance of community, healing, and land stewardship.

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Stereotype Threat and Interscholastic Athletic Leadership

James P. Strode, W. Andrew Czekanski, Anna W. Parkman, and Meredith K. Scarlata

Women have historically been underrepresented in positions of power within athletic administration. Stereotype threat, or the realization that there is a possibility that one is being judged as confirming or being reduced to a stereotype, can negatively impact the recruitment and retention of woman leaders in sport. This study developed and validated a new scale, the Gender Stereotype Threat in Athletic Administration, and elicited responses from high school athletic directors in two U.S. states. Using multiple analysis of variance, correlation analysis, and structure equation modeling, five hypotheses were tested and supported based on the respondents’ feelings of group identification, belonging uncertainty, extra pressure to succeed, and group reputation threat. The present work extends the findings on stereotype threat in the sport leadership domain and provides a useful instrument to study this phenomenon in future research.

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Virtually Masculine: Queer Men’s Experiences With Harassment in Online Video Games

Jeremy Brenner-Levoy

Video games are an understudied sport featuring social interactions both similar and dissimilar to those in offline sports. While anonymity in online video games could create a space where minoritized groups experience more equitable treatment, offline social inequalities are translated into online video game interactions. Drawing on 20 semistructured interviews and 2,694 survey responses from self-identified queer men, I build a framework for understanding gender, sexuality, and racial/ethnic harassment in online video games. I argue that nerd masculinity is a protest masculinity that uses symbolic harassment to reframe masculine hierarchy online and enforce hegemonic nerd masculinity. With this study, I illustrate the prevalence of symbolic harassment and the channels it may follow to become direct harassment.

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Critical Friends, Dialogues of Discomfort, and Researcher Reflexivity in the Sociology of Sport

Adam Ehsan Ali, Tavis Smith, and Michael Dao

In this special issue, which calls for a “more radical sociology of sport and physical culture,” the purpose of this paper is to address how practices of reflexivity might be mobilized among critical sport scholars toward changing the intersectional, fragmented, and complex communities we inhabit inside and outside the academy. We begin by conducting a literature review of researcher reflexivity and positionality in Sociology of Sport Journal from 2000 to 2022. Utilizing Wanda Pillow’s “reflexivities of discomfort,” we interrogate our own research by engaging in a reflexive dialogue as “critical friends.” Through this work, we try to make sense of the potential of these dialogues for shaping our ethical, political, and personal approaches to research, writing, methodology, and knowledge production.

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Erratum. Reconstructing, Challenging, and Negotiating Sex/Gender in Sport: U.S. Public Opinion About Transgender Athletes’ Rights, Rights for Athletes With Varied Sex Characteristics, Sex Testing, and Gender Segregation

Sociology of Sport Journal

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Gender Equality in the “Next Stage” of the “New Age?” Content and Fan Perceptions of English Media Coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Stacey Pope, Rachel Allison, and Kate Petty

This article offers an original contribution by examining both the quantity and quality of English print media coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and how fans perceive and respond to this coverage. It is the first longitudinal analysis of media coverage of women’s football in the United Kingdom and compares print media coverage between the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups. We draw on a content analysis of five English national newspapers and 49 semistructured interviews with fans. We develop new theoretical insights through the development of our framework of the “next stage” of the “new age.” Our findings show media coverage of women’s football has substantially increased, with respectful coverage sustained. The new theme of gender equality made visible several types of inequality, but the media industry failed to acknowledge its own role in reinforcing gender inequalities. Interviewees were critical of the time-limited “revolution” whereby coverage was limited to the duration of the World Cup. To advance gender equality, future media coverage must be sustained, meaningful, and prominent.

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Unrealistic Expectations and Future Status Coercion in Minor League Baseball Players’ Future-Oriented Labor

Christopher M. McLeod, Nola Agha, N. David Pifer, and Tarlan Chahardovali

This study examines minor league baseball players’ future-oriented labor by interviewing 44 baseball players and collecting data on 8,000 minor league baseball players’ careers. Minor league baseball players’ expectations of reaching Major League Baseball impacted how they evaluated their work in the present, leading them to tolerate unfair pay and working conditions. We show that players’ expectations of reaching Major League Baseball were moderately unrealistic, partly due to managerial practices encouraging unrealistic expectations. This study contributes to labor research by showing that future-oriented labor ideology is based on unrealistic expectations that employers can promote to create opportunities for future status coercion.

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Feminist Sport Media Studies in SSJ: Mapping Theoretical Frameworks and Geographies of Knowledge Production

Dunja Antunovic

This conceptual review identifies the contributions of the Sociology of Sport Journal to the subfield of feminist sport media studies. Since the first issue of Sociology of Sport Journal, over 60 articles addressed primarily the media representations research area of feminist sport media studies, using a range of theoretical frameworks that mirrored theoretical shifts in the field. An empirical analysis of geographies of knowledge production indicates that the scholarship in Sociology of Sport Journal in this subfield is primarily based in the United States and focuses on Western contexts. The article concludes with a reflection on the importance of special issues and interdisciplinary collaborations in feminist sport media studies.

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A Critical Examination of Race and Antiracism in the Sport for Development Field: An Introduction

Meredith A. Whitley, Joseph N. Cooper, Simon C. Darnell, Akilah R. Carter-Francique, and Kip G. O’Rourke-Brown