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Alan G. Ingham

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Alan G. Ingham

What follows here is an essay—a rather one-sided viewpoint that is both tentative and, within the limits of a journal article, incomplete. I attempt to understand how our recent preoccupation with our bodies is being mobilized as one solution to the fiscal crisis of the welfare state. The deep-rooted assumptions of voluntarism that characterize liberal ideology, I claim, are surfacing again in the debate over lifestyle. And lifestyle, it appears, has become an ideological construction which diverts attention from the structural impediments to well-being by framing health issues in terms of personal, moral responsibilities—a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” alternative to state intervention in health care. Some implications of the lifestyle ideology for physical educationists are presented.

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Alan G. Ingham and Rob Beamish

This paper begins with an examination of five “manifest absurdities” that arise in the exchange between MacAloon and, Hargreaves and Tomlinson. It continues with a critical analysis of Morgan’s attempt at conflict resolution, paying special attention to his distorted discussion of hegemony. Against this background, the authors argue that one of the major omissions in sociology (of sport or otherwise) is the careful analysis of the enculturation of social subject (especially against the background of contemporary concerns about time, space, and resources). Thus, in the final section of this paper, the issue of the enculturation of the social subject is addressed through a fusion of the insights of Sigmund Freud and Raymond Williams. In fusing Williams and Freud, the authors engage the social subject, the enculturated subject, as a problematic which must be followed in its precarious maneuvering between enablement and constraint—that is, the trialectic of being and becoming social.

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Alan G. Ingham and Peter Donnelly

This essay was prompted by and is a response to Yiannakis’ (1989) article in which he called for a more applied orientation on the part of sociologists of sport. In our response, we argue that Yiannakis’ position is flawed because he fails to explore the oftentimes political overdetermination of academic process and the links between the marketplace of physical culture and the prestige hierarchies that exist within the university—How do the two connect? We present a practical alternative to Yiannakis’ programmatic call for an applied sociology of sport.

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Alan G. Ingham and Peter Donnelly

As we pass the 30th anniversary of a recognized sociology of sport in North America, it is appropriate to develop a current sociological analysis of the subdiscipline. In the first part we examine the origins of the field and the development of the Wisconsin socialization paradigm and the social problems perspective. In the second part we explore the critical shift in the field, emerging from an engagement with C. Wright Mills, and the development of a political economy perspective. In the third part we review the turn to Antonio Gramsci and cultural studies, focusing particularly on the themes of gender and the body. We conclude by considering whether, given the current eclecticism, sociology of sport is still a legitimate description of our field.

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Jason M. Smith and Alan G. Ingham

Arguments for funding new professional sport stadia with public money center upon the notion of community—fans’ connection with the teams and the money that teams bring into the community. Through the lens of community theorists like Wirth (1938, 1964), Bellah and colleagues (1985), and Putnam (2000), this paper locates the professional sport franchise within local community relations and analyzes the ways in which local elites attempt to evoke community support (both emotional and financial) for their franchise. Following Ingham and McDonald (2003), we argue that professional sport is not an effective means for re-building any lasting sense of community. The results of town meetings held with citizens of Hamilton County, Ohio, reveal schisms along class, urban/suburban, and fan/non-fan lines, demonstrating that public subsidization of professional sport not only does not (re)generate a community-as-a-whole, but indeed may further divide residents depending upon their situated interests.

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Alan G. Ingham, Bryan J. Blissmer, and Kristen Wells Davidson

This article offers a proposal for combining the sport sociological and sport psychological imaginations. In order to effect this rapprochement, some serious adjustments to the ways in which many applied sport psychologists and sport sociologists think about and conduct research are required. Thus, the initial part of this article expresses some critiques, albeit brief, of current tendencies within both sport sociology and sport psychology. We deemed these critiques necessary to advance a neo-Millsian position on the articulation of social structure and personality. This neo-Millsian position draws on the ego-psychoanalytical tradition to offer suggestions for how we might reconceive the problems of indispensability/expendability in the Prolympic structures of sport and for how we might, using a life-histories (biographical) methodology, engage in useful or practical research, especially on the problematics of how individuals handle/mishandle early, pre-career, and mid-career failure, and, in the long-run, inevitable failure at the end of their careers. Where, then, is the common ground between sport sociology and sport psychology? We argue that it is the analysis of ego-practices and ego-defenses as learned, consciously or unconsciously, over our biographical lives as they intersect with, and are contoured by, social history and social structure.