Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a rapidly growing combat sport with unique development procedures unlike most traditional sports. In this study the development processes at an exemplar MMA gym were examined. Institutional work theory was used to understand how and why the sport is being developed in this setting. The results provide a microlevel account of the processes and operation of the sport as it develops, and indicate that traditional sport development models may not adequately represent all sports. Subcultural values reflecting what it takes to be a fighter along with a fighter’s duty to the gym influence recruitment, retention, and transition strategies of athletes. Two forms of institutional work, refinement and barrier work, were identified as simultaneously aiding and hindering the development of the sport. Along with furthering institutional theory research, this study contributes to the discourse on alternative ways of sport development for MMA and emergent sports.
Jules Woolf, Brennan K. Berg, Brianna L. Newland and B. Christine Green
Katie Lebel and Karen Danylchuk
The purpose of this study was to gain insight into Generation Y’s perceptions of women’s sport in the media. Twenty-four participants were recruited and organized into 4 gender-specific focus groups. Participants identified televised sport as a primary and preferred method of sport consumption. Women’s sports were linked with inaccessibility and perceived as inferior to men’s sport in terms of athletic skill and general atmosphere. An underrepresentation of women’s sport in the media was held responsible for the limited awareness surrounding women’s sport. Societal expectations instilled during early socialization processes and limited female opportunity in sport also emerged as critical barriers. Most participants regarded the inequality in women’s sport with indifference and were satisfied as sport enthusiasts with the opportunities for consumption available in men’s sport. This conservative approach to women’s sport suggests that Generation Y’s perceptions wield noteworthy influence on their sport consumption behaviors.
Janice M. Beyer and David R. Hannah
Critics of intercollegiate athletics in the U.S. have identified many negative consequences for universities, individual players, students, and other fans. In this paper, we take a cultural perspective to explore both the positive and negative consequences of college athletics. First, we show how athletics function as cultural forms that carry cultural meanings and argue that many of the meanings carried by athletics reflect cultural ideologies of the wider society. We then enumerate and discuss many of the positive and negative consequences that have been attributed to athletics at societal, organizational, group, and individual levels. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for current reforms, arguing that the cultural significance and positive functions of university athletics represent formidable barriers to reform.
Lisa Pike Masteralexis and Mark A. McDonald
This article presents the results of a pilot study that found significant differences between U.S. and non-U.S. based international sport managers with regard to the educational background, language, and cultural training deemed essential for success in the global sports market. Educational and executive training programs in sport management should recognize sport's movement into a global market and consider providing students in their programs with the competency to compete for positions in sport on a global scale. To do so, sport management programs should offer a global perspective, which encompasses education for recognizing and avoiding potential barriers to effectively conducting sport business in societies where differences exist in language, culture, business, economics, and politics.
Peter F. Bodary and M. Melissa Gross
Although the use of active-learning strategies in the classroom is effective, it is underutilized due to resistance to change from the traditional classroom, a limited evidence base for optimizing engaged learning, and limited support for faculty to overhaul their course structure. Despite these barriers, engaged learning is highly relevant, as the expected job skills of graduates continue to grow and are biased away from rote memorization and toward critical thinking and communication skills. The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines continue to accrue evidence demonstrating that different engaged-learning formats provide for better learning and preparation for careers. This article describes 2 innovative course formats the authors have used to increase student engagement and enhance competence in the areas of critical thinking, evidence gathering, and scientific communication. Furthermore, the authors discuss what they have learned while applying these teaching approaches to the development of new courses and the enhancement of established courses.
Young people are increasingly the targets of public health and private-public sector campaigns to promote active lifestyles and longevity of the life span (Arnett, 2012; Faulkner, Kwan, Brownrigg, & MacNeill, 2011). Yet media campaigns alone cannot redress the barriers to physical activity. In this paper I argue that theories of life span and social marketing approaches to health promotion share a grounding in the behavioral sciences that need to be broadened to consider social determinants of active and inactive lifestyles and uncover how youth audiences make sense of health promotions. As such, I suggest how the social marketing of healthy life spans can move upstream to advocate policies and programs for youth activity. In this article I a) critically examine our shifting notions of youth and assumptions about life span, b) highlight trends in media consumption by youth, c) consider how kinesiology can broaden the social marketing lens to active media advocacy for social justice, and d) raise implications for research and intervention.
Dana D. Brooks, Louis Harrison Jr., Michael Norris and Dawn Norwood
The primary purpose of this article is to engage in a dialogue regarding why faculty, students, and administrators should care about diversity and inclusion in kinesiology. Recent American population growth trends data clearly reveals an increase in ethnic minority populations, particularly Hispanics. American public schools and colleges are experiencing greater ethnic diversity, leading to increased diversity within our classrooms. A review of the literature quickly reveals a lack of clarity in defining the terms diversity and inclusion. Throughout the article we define these terms and at the same time identify barriers (on and off campus) to promoting and ensuring a diverse learning environment. Strong arguments are presented supporting the value of diversity within the academy, especially in kinesiology. The value of diversity in kinesiology is refected in scholarly publications, conference programming, awards recognition activities, and in the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty and student population.
Todd A. Gilson and Anthony Deldin
In the next 45 years it is estimated that individuals aged 65 and older will increase by 93% in the United States. This population will require a reexamination in thinking related to what retirement is and how seniors desire to maintain their quality of life. Thus, with this demographic shift, new career opportunities will be available for students in older adult fitness, and kinesiology graduates can be at the forefront of providing physical activity to promote public health. Through the exploration of an off-campus clinical exercise gerontology experience at Northern Illinois University, specifics of the program and potential barriers are discussed, with an eye toward assisting other institutions that wish to begin/enhance a similar program. Finally, benefits and future opportunities are highlighted showing how this partnership has led to an improved quality of life for seniors and strengthened relationships with the larger community.
Danielle D. Wadsworth, Reita Clanton, Ford Dyke, Sheri J. Brock and Mary E. Rudisill
Mental health is a major concern for higher education and students are starting their college experience with psychological issues or developing mental health problems after enrollment. Because physical activity and exercise have known mental health benefits, the field of kinesiology can facilitate the delivery of physical activity and exercise programs aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as promote healthy coping mechanisms. The School of Kinesiology at Auburn University has implemented a framework to address mental health on campus and within our community. Our framework consists of coursework, outreach efforts, and establishing key partnerships to facilitate the delivery and sustainability of our programs. Our programs enable individuals to establish self-regulation skills, use a mindfulness-based approach, or participate in yoga, thereby establishing effective and healthy coping mechanisms. This paper discusses the evolution of our framework, as well as barriers and facilitators of implementation and sustainability.
Annemarie Farrell, Janet S. Fink and Sarah Fields
While women are increasingly becoming vested fans of men’s football, baseball, hockey, and basketball, the perceived barriers—sociological, psychological and practical—to watching women’s sports still appear formidable for many female fans. The purpose of this study was to investigate the lack of female consumption of women’s sport through the voices and perspectives of female spectators of men’s sport. Based on interviews with female season ticket holders of men’s collegiate basketball who had not attended women’s basketball games for at least 5 years, the most robust theme to emerge was the profound male influence in the spectator lives of women. This influence was a lifelong phenomenon spanning generations, beginning with grandfathers and brothers and continuing through husbands and sons. Other factors combined with this strong influence to block participants’ consumption of women’s sport. These include a lack of awareness and access to women’s sport and the existence of socializing agents who empasized and prioritized male leisure interests.