There is a key tension associated with ethnographic explorations into the lives of people in the Global South – ‘outsider’ researchers from the Global North who lack experience of the environments they are seeking to understand. A considered response, therefore, is for scholars to seek physical immersion in a field—to live among those they are trying to understand. Such ethnographic inquiries are optimal when researchers have the capacity to engage over long periods of time. However, in some circumstances, this may not feasible. Thus, questions arise about the veracity of field work investigations that are not only temporally brief but undertaken by scholars who lack local experience. This paper reflects on the experiences of a researcher who was faced with those challenges. It provides guidance as to how scholars might prepare for short-term ethnography (STE) in field work, along with the limitations and constraints of such an approach. The research centered on a sport for development and peace study into intergroup relations and ethnic separatism in Fijian sport.
Jack Thomas Sugden, Daryl Adair, Nico Schulenkorf and Stephen Frawley
Chris Knoester and Theo Randolph
Using Fragile Families data (N = 2,581), this study analyzes father’s engagement in sports and outdoor activities with their nine year-old child. It also considers the implications of these interactions for health and father-child relationships. First, the results indicate patterns of relatively high levels of father engagement. Most fathers reported doing sports or outdoor activities with their child once per week or more. Second, the results show socioeconomic, gender, and family structure discrepancies in the likelihood that fathers engage in sports or outdoor activities with their child. Finally, the findings reveal that father-child interactions in sports and outdoor activities are positively associated with reports of health and father-child closeness, for both fathers and children. Thus, it seems that father-child interactions in sports and outdoor activities can serve as purposive forms of leisure that can have positive effects for health and relationships.
Andrew Hammond, Ruth Jeanes, Dawn Penney and Deana Leahy
In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight Victorian swimming coaches to examine the discourses of disability1 and inclusion that they expressed in relation to their current coaching practices. Analysis specifically pursued links between neoliberalism, ableism, elitism, classification and inclusion in coaching, with the intention of exploring what discourse relations are possible, imaginable and practical within what have been referred to as neoliberal-ableist times. Findings reveal that coaches replicate and reproduce elitist, ableist assumptions about the body and sport. The discussion prompts a consideration of how rationalities and techniques of inclusion are limited under the prevailing political context.
Adam J. White, Stefan Robinson, Eric Anderson, Rachael Bullingham, Allyson Pollock and Ryan Scoats
Diversity and representation in sport governing bodies has become an issue for both public discussion and academic debate in recent times. Previous work has primarily centered on gender inequalities within the forever changing masculine terrain of sport. However, no work has yet examined the representation and participation of young people in the decision-making structures of sporting bodies. This paper holds up England’s Rugby Union for organizational analysis, using the notion of homologous reproduction as a heuristic framework. In doing so, it explores the reproduction of this governing body for the systematic exclusion of young people in decision-making processes over the last few decades. This framework is then twined with Article 11 of the United Nation’s Convention for the Rights of the Child, to make the case that the RFU desires homologous reproduction in order to avoid dealing with what youth are currently concerned with –head injuries. Given such a high proportion of rugby’s participants being under twenty-five years of age, we conclude the lack of young people within the decision-making process represents a form of willful discrimination.
Clayton R. Kuklick and Brian T. Gearity
Sociologists of sport and coaching have repeatedly drawn upon the theoretical tools of Michel Foucault to map and critique the negative effects of coaches’ use of disciplinary practices. Three SCCs and two coach developers participated in multiple learning community meetings interrogating Foucault’s concepts to understand how power moves, create new, less disciplinary practices, and address the problems produced by too much discipline. The findings present new conceptual tools to train and move differently by disrupting disciplinary practices: spasmodic tempo training, atemporal training, variable geographic training, variable intra-geographic training, fluid and fragmented periodization, explorative coaching, and strength coach as sage. We call for an appreciation of poststructural informed sport coaching and the development of a discursive sociology of sport coaching praxis.
Jamie Cleland, Keith Parry and David Radford
This article presents the findings of 2,415 posts collected from two prominent Australian Football League message boards that responded to a racist incident involving a banana being thrown at Adelaide Crows player, Eddie Betts, in August 2016. It adopts Bourdieu’s concept of habitus to examine the online practice of fans for evidence of racist discourse and the extent to which this was supported or contested by fellow fans. The overall findings are that online debates about race in Australian Rules Football and wider Australian society remain divided, with some posters continuing to reflect racial prejudice and discrimination towards non-whites. However, for the vast majority, views deemed to have racist connotations are contested and challenged in a presentation centering on social change and racial equality.
Taylor M. Henry
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.
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.