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Adam Vanzella-Yang and Tobias Finger

Coed team sports typically offer different experiences for women and men. Though scholars have documented gender imbalances in participation within such teams, the social psychological processes at play and the broader consequences of unequal participation have rarely been explored. In this paper, the authors revisit coed team sports through the lens of status construction theory and expectation states theory to suggest that coed teams reinforce gendered notions of worth, prestige, and competence in the field of sport. The authors draw on research showing that mixed-sex settings where people must cooperate to achieve a common goal are especially prone to the reproduction of gender stereotypes. This paper builds bridges between two subfields of sociology and illuminates gender dynamics in a coed sport that has not been previously studied (futsal).

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Robert E. Rinehart

The avant-garde has much to offer sport studies and many paths to explore for sport studies’ scholars. In this article, I makes a case for the use of the avant-garde as a metaphor for sport studies, sport scholars, and the public at large. To do this, I sketch out some of the foundational and pertinent characteristics of the avant-garde, provides exemplars from art, considers the similarities between sport and art (in terms of an avant-garde metaphor), and provides some exemplars from sport.

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Samantha King and Gavin Weedon

This article raises the ecological substance and relational co-constitution of bodies as a generative question for sociologists of sport and physical culture. It proceeds from our observation that recent research on the materiality of athletic bodies, and on the environmental issues in which sport is implicated, tends to run on parallel tracks. By exploring how biological, environmental, and social natures cohere in the making and unmaking of healthy bodies, our aim is to connect and extend these vibrant areas of research. We do so by developing the concept of “ecological embodiment,” a descriptor for a fluid state of becoming and a sensibility for thinking about hierarchical socioecological entanglements. To illustrate this concept, we draw on a study of whey protein powder, a key ingredient in contemporary fitness cultures.

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Alana Thomson, Kristine Toohey and Simon Darcy

Sport event studies have demonstrated that relevant stakeholders must share objectives and coordinate efforts to leverage a large-scale sport event to secure positive legacies. However, the challenging and complex task of collaboration between networks of diverse organizational stakeholders to secure legacies has received little scholarly attention. In this conceptual paper, the authors explore, through a political economy lens, differences between the political economies of sports and sport events pertaining to mass sport participation legacies. The authors focus on the mesolevel and consider how divergences in political economy elements—structure and context, stakeholders and ideas/incentives, and bargaining processes—influence the likelihood of mass sport participation legacies from large-scale sport events. The authors suggest a need for event legacy stakeholders to engage more meaningfully with the complexities surrounding securing mass sport participation legacies. In addition, they provide pragmatic, actionable implications for policy and practice to assist stakeholders in addressing the challenges they face to maximize legacy outcomes.

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Erianne A. Weight, Elizabeth Taylor, Matt R. Huml and Marlene A. Dixon

As thousands of professionals are drawn to work in the sport industry known for celebrity, action, and excitement, a growing body of literature on the industry’s culture describes a field fraught with burnout, stress, and difficulty balancing work–family responsibilities. Given this contradiction, there is a need to better understand employee experiences. Thus, the authors utilized a human capital framework to develop employee archetypes. Results from a latent cluster analysis of National Collegiate Athletic Association athletics department employees (N = 4,324) revealed five distinct employee archetypes utilizing inputs related to human capital development and work experiences (e.g., work–family interface, work engagement, age). Consistent with creative nonfiction methodology, results are presented as composite narratives. Archetypes follow a career arc from early-career support staff to late-career senior leaders and portray an industry culture wherein the human capital is largely overworked, underpaid, and replete with personal sacrifice and regret.

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Adam J. Nichol, Philip R. Hayes, Will Vickery, Emma Boocock, Paul Potrac and Edward T. Hall

Social structure remains an equivocal term in (sport) sociology. Our understandings of its constitution and role in causally influencing behavior are arguably underdeveloped. Using a critical realist approach, this paper examined how structural entities and reflexive agency combined to influence behavior in an elite youth cricket context (e.g., athletes, coaches). A methodological bricolage was used to generate data and Elder-Vass’s theorizing provided the principal heuristic device. The analysis illustrated how coaches acted on behalf of norm circles in their attempts to shape dispositions of athletes. In turn, athletes engaged in a process of dialectical iteration between reflexive deliberation and (intersectional) dispositions, which influenced their social action in this organizational context. This study holds significance for researchers and practitioners concerned with social influence.

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Courtney Szto, Ann Pegoraro, Erin Morris, Melanie Desrochers, Karell Emard, Katrina Galas, Anissa Gamble, Liz Knox and Kristen Richards

Women’s professional hockey was hindered when the Canadian Women’s Hockey League announced its abrupt closure in March 2019. The action disrupted the opportunity for hundreds of elite women’s hockey players to continue pursuing competitive hockey after university. This study outlines the time period surrounding the Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s closure and the formation of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association. The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association announced that its members would not play in any professional Canadian or American league until its players receive a living wage, proper training resources, and employee benefits, such as health care. Through semi-structured interviews and discourse analysis of media narratives, the authors situate the #ForTheGame movement within second-wave feminist tactics to create social change through collective action.

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Niels B. Feddersen, Robert Morris, Louise K. Storm, Martin A. Littlewood and David J. Richardson

The purpose was to examine the power relations during a change of culture in an Olympic sports organization in the United Kingdom. The authors conducted a 16-month longitudinal study combining action research and grounded theory. The data collection included ethnography and a focus group discussion (n = 10) with athletes, coaches, parents, and the national governing body. The authors supplemented these with 26 interviews with stakeholders, and we analyzed the data using grounded theory. The core concept found was that power relations were further divided into systemic power and informational power. Systemic power (e.g., formal authority to reward or punish) denotes how the national governing bodies sought to implement change from the top-down and impose new strategies on the organization. The informational power (e.g., tacit feeling of oneness and belonging) represented how individuals and subunits mobilized coalitions to support or obstruct the sports organization’s agenda. Olympic sports organizations should consider the influence of power when undertaking a change of culture.

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Eve Bernstein

The purpose of this study was to understand students’ experiences through digital YouTube clips focusing on middle school competitive activities in physical education class. This study was guided by the transactional framework, which states that individuals and institutions, in this case students and competitive activities in physical education class, create certain transactions, and these transactions are shared. Twenty-six YouTube posts were examined. The data were analyzed using the constant comparative method to find patterns in the posting of students’ experiences of participating in these activities. Three major themes of the digital clips clearly emerged. These themes included (a) perceived skill level—the low-skilled student, the athlete, and the Olympian; (b) student demonstration of skills; and (c) teacher-directed experience. These findings suggest that students share transactions in both images and the spoken experiences they are having during competitive activities.

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Panteleimon Ekkekakis

Exercise remains greatly underutilized in clinical practice for reasons that are only partly understood. This critical review situates the problem within the broader political and economic context. It focuses on depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide, and the processes that followed the inclusion of exercise as a treatment option in clinical practice guidelines in the British National Health Service. The review highlights previously unaddressed phenomena, including antiexercise lobbying by primary care physicians and efforts to present the evidence for the antidepressant effects of exercise as weak, nonexistent, or methodologically flawed. Notably, the field of kinesiology remained silent while these processes unfolded. This information suggests that the path from research evidence to implementation in clinical settings remains dependent on factors beyond the amount and quality of research evidence. The review underscores the need to vigilantly monitor, critically appraise, and actively participate in the clinical research literature and the development of guidelines.