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Michael Dao

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Chen Chen and Daniel S. Mason

This study discusses how an epistemological shift—explicitly acknowledging the embedded position of the sport management field in settler colonial societies and its effect on knowledge production therein—is necessary for the field to mobilize social change that problematizes and challenges ongoing settler colonialism. Reviewing previous research examining social change in sport management, the authors then argue that settler colonialism, a condition that underlies some nation-states that produce leading sport management knowledge—the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—should no longer remain invisible in our research. Drawing upon Indigenous Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, and sport-related work from other social science disciplines, the authors contextualize the position of non-Indigenous scholars and then address three questions that highlight the relevance of settler colonialism to sport management research. They conclude with a discussion on possible ways in which settler colonialism can be visibilized and thus challenged by non-Indigenous scholars.

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Jonathan Robertson, Ryan Storr, Andrew Bakos and Danny O’Brien

The aim of this article was to develop a theoretical framework to aid the current understanding of social change practice. Drawing on concepts from institutional theory, the authors proposed and applied a theoretical framework to investigate social change at the intersection of gender and sexuality inclusion in Australian cricket. Qualitative techniques (interviews and document analyses) were utilized to investigate the trajectory of lesbian inclusion in Australian cricket over time. Starting from the perspective that institutional arrangements can be exclusionary (or biased) toward certain groups in society, this research investigated how the actions of institutional entrepreneurs can create more inclusive institutional arrangements. Theoretical and practical implications for future research are discussed.

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Marlene A. Dixon and Per G. Svensson

Sport for development and peace (SDP) agencies increasingly deal with complex institutional demands. In this article, the authors present an in-depth case study of how a nascent SDP organization created from within a local community in Kenya responded to institutional complexity through a series of pivotal moments that shaped the nature of the SDP agency. Throughout the formative stage in its life course, organizational leaders faced increased institutional complexity as they grappled with a series of incompatible prescriptions and demands from multiple institutional logics. The case organization—Highway of Hope—responded to this complexity through a process of organizational hybridity. Five pivotal decision points were identified and analyzed to explore how they shaped the organization over its early stages of existence. Our findings provide guidance for advancing our understanding of hybridity processes in SDP, both theoretically and practically.

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Garrett Bunyak

The increasingly popular sport of feline agility animates human and feline bodies through the construction of rules, obstacles, technologies, and norms. Feline agility, then, involves the management and control of the lives and bodies of both species to meet the expectations of agility competition. In extending Michel Foucault’s concept of biopower to analyze interspecies sport, the current paper suggests two prominent governing organizations of feline agility, International Cat Agility Tournaments (ICAT) and Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), construct human and feline subjects based on a binary construction of a human, capable of acting responsibly, and a feline that lacks a capacity for responsibility. Consequently, humans are constructed as “agility citizens” and are responsibilized to perform the training, enhancement, and optimization of human and feline lives and bodies in the image of normative lifestyle and health dictates pursued principally through acts of consumption. Within narratives of “agility citizenship,” the human subject is positioned to control the feline subject, obscuring and negating feline agency and resistance. Donna Haraway’s concept of “response-ability” is suggested as one avenue to promote interspecies flourishing in sport.

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Sharyn G. Davies and Antje Deckert

Women now compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship for which Muay Thai is a feeder discipline. It is timely to analyze how the tools of this pugilist trade, women’s bodies, are lived and discursively positioned. We explore how bodily attributes (strength and beauty) are positioned vis-a-vis women fighters by drawing on 17 interviews with women Muay Thai fighters. We argue while women are in control of their bodies and proud of their strength, normative narratives of fighting being unfeminine must be combatted. Theoretically, we expand discussion of gender and the body by deploying the ‘pretty imperative’ to examine how women’s quotidian practices open space for other women fighters and by engaging the notion of ingenious agency to reveal women’s strategic efforts for inclusion and acceptance.

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Katherine Raw, Emma Sherry and Katie Rowe

Despite recent advances in sport-for-development (SFD) literature, few scholars have empirically examined organizational hybridity in SFD contexts. This is despite hybrid organizational approaches becoming increasingly common in the delivery of SFD initiatives. Opportunities exist for researchers to build knowledge regarding SFD hybrids, particularly those which operate in professional sport contexts. In this research, we examine an SFD organization, delivered by a professional sport team, which operates under a hybrid structure. A longitudinal qualitative case study design was employed, and findings demonstrate how the SFD organization, which presents a practical example of organizational hybridity, evolved over time. Drawing upon Svensson typologies of SFD hybrids, results illustrate how the organization transformed from a differentiated hybrid into a dysfunctional hybrid, under the influence of funding opportunities and institutional logics. Through the present study, we build upon theoretical understandings of SFD hybrids and offer practical insight into the nuances of SFD hybrids delivered in professional sport contexts.

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Jon Welty Peachey, Nico Schulenkorf and Ramon Spaaij