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Alan Tomlinson

This article presents a single case study in the context of an exploration of social and cultural change and the major influences affecting patterns of working-class culture in interwar and postwar Britain. The case study is of knur-and-spell, a form of working-class sport (also known as tipping or poor man’s golf) in the northwest region of England. The study draws upon newspaper and oral sources. It is presented as evidence of the unevenness of cultural change, and so in one sense as a challenge to overgeneralized conceptions and theories of social and cultural change. The case study is also a reminder that mainstream and dominant understandings of sport may in themselves be merely partial contributions toward any truly comprehensive history and sociology of ludic culture.

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John Sugden and Alan Tomlinson

This article reviews the impact of the 1994 World Cup (Soccer) Finals upon contemporary US sports culture. The authors draw upon historical and sociological scholarship on North American sports culture, participant observation data generated by them during the World Cup itself, and empirical sources on the context and impact of the World Cup’s development and implementation. These sources are used within an analytical framework derived from critical and investigative sociological traditions. The article situates the case study within debates concerning the USA’s sports space and the nature of globalizing processes within contemporary sport. It is concluded that though the World Cup was notably successful as spectacle and event (as predicted by a number of commentators), and as the accomplishment of interlocking networks of sports administrative elites, its impact upon established US sports culture and space has been minimal.

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John Hargreaves and Alan Tomlinson

In this paper we offer a rejoinder to MacAloon’s arguments in his article, “The Ethnographic Imperative in Comparative Olympic Research,” and briefly situate the other contributions in this theme issue of Sociology of Sport Journal. We argue that while MacAloon’s polemic against the so-called “cultural studies” approach raises important issues, notably the need for more soundly based empirical work, his characterization is misconceived, and that what he presents as an alternative is neither theoretically clear nor empirically well founded. We suggest that the contributions in this volume provide a better guide to the quality of current work in the sociological analysis of sport in Britain than does MacAloon’s characterization of the so-called cultural studies approach.

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Kate M. Sansum, Max E. Weston, Bert Bond, Emma J. Cockcroft, Amy O’Connor, Owen W. Tomlinson, Craig A. Williams and Alan R. Barker

Purpose: This study had 2 objectives: (1) to examine whether the validity of the supramaximal verification test for maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) differs in children and adolescents when stratified for sex, body mass, and cardiorespiratory fitness and (2) to assess sensitivity and specificity of primary and secondary objective criteria from the incremental test to verify V˙O2max. Methods: In total, 128 children and adolescents (76 male and 52 females; age: 9.3–17.4 y) performed a ramp-incremental test to exhaustion on a cycle ergometer followed by a supramaximal test to verify V˙O2max. Results: Supramaximal tests verified V˙O2max in 88% of participants. Group incremental test peak V˙O2 was greater than the supramaximal test (2.27 [0.65] L·min−1 and 2.17 [0.63] L·min−1; P < .001), although both were correlated (r = .94; P < .001). No differences were found in V˙O2 plateau attainment or supramaximal test verification between sex, body mass, or cardiorespiratory fitness groups (all Ps > .18). Supramaximal test time to exhaustion predicted supramaximal test V˙O2max verification (P = .04). Primary and secondary objective criteria had insufficient sensitivity (7.1%–24.1%) and specificity (50%–100%) to verify V˙O2max. Conclusion: The utility of supramaximal testing to verify V˙O2max is not affected by sex, body mass, or cardiorespiratory fitness status. Supramaximal testing should replace secondary objective criteria to verify V˙O2max.