The study of therapeutic landscapes (locations where place works as a vector of well-being) has generated substantial international interest. Drawing from Henri Lefebvre’s prolific writings on space, this article extends the concept of “landscapes of social relations” as an often-overlooked form of therapeutic landscapes. Consequent to this undertaking, this article examines the health experiences of members of the Toronto Front Runners, a running club for sexual minorities. Specifically, I underline the need for an interpretive analysis that examines notions of pluralism, multiple voices, and difference within therapeutic landscapes in order to highlight the ways in which social inequalities affect health.
This study centers upon accounts of master women coaches in the UK, connecting the participants’ experiences of the structural practices within the coaching profession to their feelings of being undervalued and marginalized. By going beyond previous positivist and interpretive approaches to the issue of women coaches’ underrepresentation, I locate the participants’ narratives and their oppression within the wider sociocultural context of sport. The strength of patriarchy within sport and coaching is revealed in the private lives of the coaches. Consequently, the findings provoke methodological and theoretical implications for an alternative approach to understanding women’s long standing minority status within sports leadership.
Agnes Elling, Paul De Knop and Annelies Knoppers
The diversity of sport participants in the Netherlands is beginning to reflect the diversity within the general population. Sport as a whole is becoming more accessible, and participation in sport of different social groups takes place within both mainstream and “separate” sports clubs and in differently organized sports groups. In our paper we critically analyze the broader social integrative functions ascribed to sport by policy makers. We attempt to show that the ongoing democratization of sport participation is not always positively correlated, let alone causally related, to a broader social integrated society. We argue that social integration in itself is a multidimensional process and distinguish three dimensions of integration (structural, social-cultural, and social-affective), which can all occur in and through the practice of sport. Furthermore we argue that the integrative meanings of sport depend on which social groups and which of the dimensions of integration are examined. The complementary and contradictory aspects of the dimensions of social integration with regard to four different social minority groups (ethnic minorities, the elderly, the physically challenged, gays and lesbians) are examined.
Katherine M. Jamieson, Justine J. Reel and Diane L. Gill
Differential treatment by race has been documented in sport, including the opportunity to occupy specific positions. Few researchers have examined the theoretical fit of stacking in women’s sport contexts. Moreover, the three published studies of stacking in women’s athletics were examinations of positional segregation for white and African American women only. Binary conceptions of race are no longer sufficient to explain the complexity of power relations that are visible through phenomena such as stacking. This study focused on the stacking of four major racial groups in NCAA Division I softball. Based upon the results, we suggest that stacking of racial-ethnic minority women may occur in patterns different from those identified in previous stacking studies.
In this project I will trace former Little League Baseball star, Danny Almonte’s, celebrity identity and flexible citizenship with particular regard to the way that he has been used as both an exemplary Dominican immigrant and later a cautionary tale. As such this critical biography of Almonte’s rise and fall in American popular culture—informed by Henry Giroux’s extensive theorizing on youth culture, Ong’s concept of flexible citizenship, and Steven Jackson’s understanding of “twisting”—will critically interrogate the mediated discourses used to describe, define, and make Almonte into a symbol of a (stereo)typical Dominican male. In accordance with contemporaneous hyper-conservative and neoliberal rhetoric pervasive throughout the United States, I posit the notion that Almonte’s contested celebrity was formulated within the popular media as the embodiment of the minority “assault” on white privilege.
This paper challenges the popular argument that sport is an effective channel for upward mobility, especially for ethnic minorities. My study of retired professional soccer players in Israel establishes the following findings: First, members of the subordinate ethnic group are disadvantaged in attainment of status not only in schools and labor markets but also in and via sport. Second, a professional career in sport does not intervene between background variables and later occupational attainment. Third, both ethnicity and educational level are the most significant determinants of postretirement occupational attainment; higher education and higher ethnic status improve opportunities for later occupational success. On the basis of these findings it is suggested that the same rules of inequality that push individuals to seek alternative routes of mobility, such as professional sport, continue to operate in and beyond sport.
Merrill J. Melnick
In order to test Hallinan’s “Anglocentric Hypothesis,” New Zealand head coaches of female netball union teams completed two mailed questionnaires. The statistical analysis was based on 177 European (69.1%) and 79 Maori (30.9%) players. An overall chi-square for Race x Playing Position was nonsignificant, χ2(6) = 8.40. Specifically, Europeans were nonsignificantly overrepresented at center, the most central, highest interacting position. Occupancy of the most tactically important playing position, goal defense, also did not significantly vary by race. Lastly, goal shoot, the position judged by the coaches as being highest in outcome control, also did not favor either race. The results are discussed in terms of the historical record of Maori women’s participation in netball, majority–minority relations in New Zealand, and several methodological issues and concerns that attend “stacking” investigations.
Helene Joncheray, Fabrice Burlot, Nicolas Besombes, Sébastien Dalgalarrondo and Mathilde Desenfant
This article presents the performance factors identified by Olympic athletes and analyzes how they were prioritized and implemented during the 2012–2016 Olympiad. To address this issue, 28 semistructured interviews were conducted with French athletes who participated in the Olympic Games in 2016. The analysis shows that to achieve performance, only two factors were implemented by all the athletes: training and physical preparation. The other factors, namely, mental preparation, nutrition, and recovery care, were not implemented by all athletes. In addition, two main types of configurations have been identified: a minority of athletes (n = 4) for whom the choice of performance factors and their implementation are controlled by the coach and a majority (n = 24) who adopts secondary adjustments by relying on a parallel network.
Patrick Peretti-Watel, Valérie Guagliardo, Pierre Verger, Patrick Mignon, Jacques Pruvost and Yolande Obadia
This study examined attitudes toward doping among 458 French elite student-athletes (ESAs) ages 16–24, their correlates, and their relationship with cigarette, alcohol, and cannabis use. We found a consensus among ESAs concerning negative aspects of doping. A cluster analysis showed, however, that statements dealing with benefits of doping were endorsed by two significant minorities of respondents. These ESAs were more frequently older males with a lower parental academic achievement and no sporting history in their family. Recreational drug use depended on whether or not ESAs endorsed statements related to nonsporting benefits of doping. Using an analytical framework from the sociology of deviance, our findings suggest that athletes who dope themselves pursue legitimate goals with illegitimate means but justify their behavior with a legitimate rationale. Further research is needed on the nonrecreational use of recreational drugs.
Moshe Semyonov and Mira Farbstein
This research explores the extent to which aggregate violence among players and spectators of soccer teams is affected by the urban ecology and the sports ecology in which the teams operate. Sports violence is viewed here as characteristic of the social system. The analysis focuses on 297 soccer teams in Israel, and demonstrates that violence in sports is systematically related to both the team’s urban ecology and sports ecology. First, teams representing communities of subordinate ethnic minorities are more violent than others. Second, teams competing in higher level (professional) divisions and teams at either the bottom or top of their division (high levels of competition) are more violent. Third, teams characterized by violent players are more likely to have violent spectators. Finally, the causal relation between player and spectator violence is asymmetric: players affect spectators’ violence but not vice versa. These findings are discussed and interpreted in light of sociological theory.