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Patti Millar and Julie Stevens

Past research has demonstrated that human resource training often results in improved individual and organizational performances. Yet, the focus has been on whether or not training has an impact on performance, rather than the nature of that impact. The purpose of this study is to investigate the nature of training-related outcomes in the context of one training program within the Canadian national sport sector. Interviews were conducted with key representatives from 12 Canadian national sport organizations. Findings showed the manifestations of performance change that occur as a result of training, revealing a new way of thinking at the individual level, a new way of doing within group and organizational processes, and a new way of being across organizations. Three theoretical perspectives—interpretation, learning, and institutional—are used to frame the discussion of the findings. Implications for practice and future research are presented.

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Gashaw Abeza, Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, Benoit Séguin, Norm O’Reilly, Ari Kim and Yann Abdourazakou

This study explored the practices and strategies of ambush marketing via social media (SM) during the 2014 Sochi, 2016 Rio, and 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games. An observational netnography method was adopted to investigate direct industry competitors’ (of the Olympic sponsors) use of SM for the purpose of ambush marketing during the 2014, 2016, and 2018 Games. Data were gathered from the official Twitter accounts of 15 direct industry competitors over the three most recent Games. Despite a series of SM guidelines released by IOC for the 2014, 2016, and 2018 Games, the findings showed that the practice of ambush marketing via SM was evident during each of the Games. Direct industry competitors were found employing four specific ambush strategies, namely, associative, values, coattail, and property infringement. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as an impetus for future research, are suggested.

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Dae Hee Kwak and Sean Pradhan

Three experiments explore how sport consumers respond to sponsor advertisements featuring a team that lost a pivotal game. Drawing from social identity and appraisal theories, the authors hypothesize and find that high identifiers experience stronger negative emotions but less identity threat than low identifiers following their favorite team’s loss. When an advertisement features the losing team, low identifiers show less favorable evaluations toward the brand, whereas high identifiers report more favorable assessments. The results demonstrate that the tendency to hide and escape from the source of threat (losing team) among low identifiers is evidenced in processing marketing communications, whereas high identifiers display more positive evaluations toward the brand when the advertisement acknowledged the loss. The study findings provide implications for sponsors to consider different messaging strategies depending on the level of team identification with the losing team.

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Lindsay Parks Pieper

At specific moments in history, women publicly entered the masculine realm of baseball to advance female suffrage in the United States. Girls and women took to the field in the nineteenth century, enjoying newfound bodily freedoms and disrupting Victorian constraints. While their performances may not have always translated into explicit suffrage activism, their athleticism demonstrated strength at a time when many people used women’s supposed weakness as an argument against their political enfranchisement. However, as the popularity of baseball increased at the turn of the century, the number of female ballplayers decreased. Activism in the sport therefore changed. In the mid-1910s, suffragists advertised at men’s baseball games. The women recognized the value of promoting suffrage through sport; yet, they also acknowledged that by entering ballparks, they entered a male space. Suffragists therefore exhibited conventional White gender norms to avoid aggrieving male voters. Women’s different engagements with baseball, as either players or spectators, had varying consequences for women’s political and sporting emancipation. Women’s physical activism in baseball demonstrated female prowess and strength in sport, but only abstractly advanced women’s political rights; suffragists’ promotional efforts through men’s baseball more directly influenced the eventual passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, but their actions supported women’s position on the sidelines.

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Luciana Zuest

This study explored the daily life physical activity (PA) experiences of 11 adolescent girls living in a rural community in the Northwest of the United States. This qualitative study employed visual methods to explore adolescent girls’ PA experiences in their daily lives. Specifically, this study used visual diaries and photo-elicitation interviews to capture girls’ PA experiences. Data from this study revealed two distinct PA patterns among the 11 participants: casual movers and sporty girls. Casual movers have a much less structured approach to PA. They engage in a wide variety of PA types—mostly individual forms of PA and PA geared towards recreation. They describe fun, enjoyment, and task mastery as their main motivations to be physically active. Casual movers often engage in PA with family members and are compelled to be active outdoors and in their homes or neighborhoods. In contrast, all five sporty girls belong to competitive sports teams and have a more structured PA routine. They seek performance improvement and have high perceptions of physical competence. Sporty girls value being active with their teammates and receive strong support from their families in the form of encouragement, role modeling, and financial/structural assistance. Sporty girls feel confident being active in their schools’ fields, courts, and gymnasiums, but also appreciate the outdoors environment. Findings from this study support the need for schools to increase access to PA opportunities that are not focused on skill or fitness performance, thus appealing to casual movers’ approach to physical movement.

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Nathanael C.H. Ong

Singaporean footballer Ben Davis applied for deferment from national service (NS) in order to pursue his dream of playing in the English Premier League. However, his deferment request was rejected by the Ministry of Defense, and there was a sizable national debate on whether Davis should be granted the deferment. The study sought to use the Ben Davis saga as a case study to provide an exploration of public opinion toward various issues relating to sport and society. A total of 14,093 comments were extracted from various news sources on Facebook, and a randomized sample of 1,875 comments was used for the final analysis. The constant comparative methodology was used to conduct a thematic analysis of the comments. The analysis produced four higher order themes: (a) sport in Singapore, (b) role and relevance of NS, (c) national interest versus individual choice, and (d) perception of new citizens and foreign talent.

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Rachel Allison

Although women athletes in professional sport are uniquely positioned to expose the limits of gender essentialist ideology and challenge its relationship with inequality, little empirical research has considered how professional women athletes understand and negotiate gender ideologies. Drawing on 19 in-depth interviews and one e-mail exchange with U.S. women’s professional soccer players, this article finds that sportswomen strategically endorse constructions of gender difference while simultaneously universalizing White, middle-class women’s experiences. “Privileging difference” is a narrative whereby players recognize belief in women’s physical inferiority to men and argue for women’s moral superiority to men as a source of value and reward for women’s sport. Sportswomen’s moral authority is defined from a position of racialized class privilege, as players construct an idealized woman player who sacrifices material reward for emotional satisfaction and who emphasizes future change over present conditions.

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Janine V. Olthuis, Margo C. Watt, Christopher E. J. DeWolfe, Emma Connell, Emily N. Wright and Laura Sevigny

Women, relative to men, are at particularly high risk for anxiety and depression, perhaps in part due to their heightened levels of anxiety sensitivity (AS). Physical activity (PA) is an accessible mental health intervention that may be particularly beneficial for women. Using a within-subjects pre-post mixed methods design, this study tested the acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility, and evidence-base of a community-based PA intervention for AS among women at high risk for anxiety and depression. Participants were 45 women with high AS who completed an 8-week group PA intervention. Data were collected via self-report questionnaires, interviews, and recruitment, participation, and retention rates. Results suggest the intervention is acceptable, appropriate, and feasible. Interviews reveal high intervention satisfaction and perceived benefits beyond AS reduction. There was a relatively high attrition rate that suggests room for improvement. The intervention significantly reduced AS, as well as panic, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and depression symptoms. In the context of the preliminary nature of this study, results suggest the use of community-delivered, group-based PA as a mental health intervention strategy for women is worth further exploration. There is potential for collaboration between the health system, PA delivery professionals, and community organizations to improve access to care.