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Kathryn E. Shea

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Rick Smith

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Chrysostomos Giannoulakis

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Joshua I. Newman

In this article, which is an expanded and updated adaptation of the 2018 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Presidential Address, I look at the challenges and opportunities presented to the field by the Sokal 2.0 hoax. Specifically, I look at issues of epistemology and politics as expressed in, and produced through, the field(s) of sport sociology, physical cultural studies, and critical studies in/of sport. I conclude with a discussion regarding how sport sociologists and scholars in related fields might look to form new associations as they continue to produce politically-meaningful scholarship and seek social justice and social equality there through.

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Emma Kavanagh, Chelsea Litchfield and Jaquelyn Osborne

This study investigated gender-based violence targeting high-profile women in virtual environments through the case of women’s tennis. Using a netnographic approach and the lens of third-wave feminism, 2 popular social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) were analyzed to examine social commentary and fan interaction surrounding the top-5-seeded female tennis players during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Athletes were exposed to violent interactions in a number of ways. Four themes were identified through data analysis: threats of physical violence, sexualization that focused on the female physical appearance, sexualization that expressed desire and/or proposed physical or sexual contact, and sexualization that was vile, explicit, and threateningly violent in a sexual or misogynistic manner. Findings demonstrate how social media provides a space for unregulated gender-based cyberhate targeting high-profile women in their workplace in a way that traditional sport media does not.

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Kari Stefansen, Gerd Marie Solstad, Åse Strandbu and Maria Hansen

In this paper, we use data from focus group interviews with young athletes to explore their thinking about coach-athlete sexual relationships (CASRs). Our aim is to further the understanding of the ambivalence surrounding CASRs in the sports field, which are simultaneously viewed as ethically problematic and acceptable—at least when they involve high-profile adult athletes. Inspired by Swidler’s toolkit approach to culture, we analyze how athletes understand and justify CASRs. We found that three different ethics were activated in the interviews: the safeguarding, love, and athletic-performance ethics. We discuss how these ethics are linked to different underlying “imaginaries,” or cultural frames, about the meaning of sport in society and offer thoughts on how the results can inform sporting organizations’ future prevention efforts.