While there appears to be valid evidence to support the notion that sport participation is related to social class, such a relationship has not been clearly and directly demonstrated to exist among youth. Consequently, data from two studies that specifically investigated the potential relationship between formal youth sport participation and social class background are reported. The findings indicate that regardless of social class background, male youth participate in sport to an equal extent whereas female youth from lower social class backgrounds tend to participate in sport to a lesser degree than do their upper-class counterparts. Several explanations for these somewhat unexpected findings are offered, including the possibility of a diminishing relationship between sport participation and social class background. The multiple hierarchy notion of stratification is offered as a theoretical model in which to couch the major finding that sport participation appears to be stratified along social class lines among female youth but not among male youth.
Judy Liao and Pirkko Markula
In November 2010, the US media reported that basketball player Diana Taurasi tested positive for a banned substance while playing in Turkey. In this study, we explore the media coverage of Taurasi’s positive drug test from a Deleuzian perspective. We consider the media coverage as an assemblage (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987; Malins, 2004) to analyze how Taurasi’s drug using body is articulated with the elite female sporting body in the coverage of her doping incident (Markula, 2004; Wise, 2011). Our analysis demonstrates that Taurasi’s position as a professional basketball player in the US dominated the discussion to legitimize her exoneration of banned substance use. In addition, Turkey, its “amateur” sport and poor drug control procedure, was located to the periphery to normalize a certain type of professionalism, doping control, and body as the desirable elements of sporting practice.
Douglas E. Martin and Richard A. Dodder
© 1993 Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
In the early 1970s Spreitzer and Snyder developed the Psychosocial Functions of Sport Scale to assess people’s perceptions of the importance of sport, and they administered this instrument to a sample of Toledo, Ohio, residents. This study reassesses the reliability and construct validity of the scale and examines college students’ perceptions of the importance of sport. Factor analysis and Cronbach’s alpha indicate that Spreitzer and Snyder’s scale meets the criteria of reliability and construct validity. An item analysis indicates that most subjects believe sport to be important for individuals and society. Subjects’ responses to 12 of the 15 items are strikingly similar to the response distribution reported by Spreitzer and Snyder; however, there are notable differences on three of the items, suggesting that the present sample did not view sport as an institution that develops good citizens, promotes fair play, or alleviates drug problems in society.
James Curtis, William McTeer and Philip White
This paper reports on tests of relationships between participation in organized sport as a youth and earned income in adulthood. The data are drawn from a sample survey of adult Canadians. The results, both before and after appropriate controls, show that those who participated in organized sport as a youth tended to have higher annual earned incomes as adults than those who did not participate in this way. The relationships are stronger and more consistent for males than females across social subgroups defined by education level completed. Further supplemental analyses compare the explanatory import of youth sport participation and other forms of voluntary community involvement as a youth. Also presented are interpretations of the results, which emphasize the “cultural and social capital” and “physical capital” outcomes of involvement in youth sport activity.
Peter Millward and George Poulton
This article explores the establishment and development of fan-owned association football club, F.C. United of Manchester. It does this by drawing upon extensive ethnographic fieldwork, including interviews, observations and an analysis of multiple texts, such as fanzines, web-based and media reports materials and discusses this using Herbert Blumer’s theory of collective behavior. As such, the article addresses two research questions: first, what the empirical case example of F.C. United of Manchester offers to the critical understanding of Blumer’s theory and second, what the theory can give to the understanding of twenty-first century protests in popular culture. Therefore this article contributes to contemporary debates on association football fandom, social movements and the theories of Herbert Blumer.
Elizabeth C.J. Pike
The proposal that older people should engage in “active aging” has come to dominate local, national, and international policy agendas. This encompasses a variety of ways that older persons might maintain active citizenship, but invariably promotes physical activity and exercise as having health and social benefits, despite a lack of conclusive evidence to support such claims. In this paper, I further examine the meaning of these claims through an analysis of policy documents, reports, and media articles which promote the perceived benefits of physical activity in later life. I revisit Cohen’s (2002) concepts of folk devils and moral panics to understand how these messages simultaneously problematize older people while creating a market for emergent moral entrepreneurs who claim to have the solution to the problem they have in part created. I conclude with recommendations for improved understanding of the benefits and appropriate provision for active aging.
Sarah R. Crissey and Joy Crissey Honea
This study examines the relationship between sport participation and perceptions of body size and weight-loss strategies among adolescent girls. Using a sample of 7,214 girls, ages 12–18 years, from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we find that girls who participate in stereotypically feminine sports are more likely to report feeling overweight, attempt to lose weight, and use multiple weight-loss strategies compared with nonathletes. We also find that the associations for weight loss, but not overweight perception, are generally weaker for non-White girls. These findings suggest that participation in stereotypically feminine sports, particularly for White girls, might exacerbate body image and dieting problems associated with dominant gender roles, but participation in stereotypically masculine sports does not.
Brian Wilson and Lyndsay Hayhurst
This article reports findings from an interview-based study focused around the role of the Internet in the development and operations of four nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that use sport as part of their youth engagement efforts. Findings showed, on the one hand, how the emergence of certain NGOs would not have been possible if not for the Internet. On the other hand, it was clear that the Internet contributes to a form of “ironic activism,” meaning that the practices that underlie certain forms of Internet-enabled NGO activity also reproduce neoliberal, market-driven approaches to dealing with social problems. The article includes discussion about ways in which the use of communication technologies by “sport for development” NGOs is reflective of broader developments in and around the NGO community.
Cassandra Wells and Simon C. Darnell
The sex testing of South African runner Caster Semenya in 2009 was widely discussed in media, but the most serious and significant sites of debate may have been within the cultures and institutions of track & field itself. In this article, we report findings from an analysis of an online track & field community—TrackNet Listserv—through which the Semenya case, and the politics and ethics of sex testing, were discussed. The results suggest that listserv members recognized the contestability of sex testing policies and identified with feminist struggles, but nevertheless largely argued for sex testing’s necessity in light of understandings of the biologically normative female body and the importance of maintaining fairness in and through sex-segregated sport. The implications for the sport of track & field and for sporting feminisms are discussed.
Kristin J. Heumann and Pamela D. Swan
Jumping rope (JR) is known to enhance Os Calcis Stiffness Index (OCSI) in postpubertal girls; however the effects in prepubescent girls are unknown.
Qualitative Ultrasound (QUS) indices were compared between competitive JRs (N = 19) and normally active (NA, N = 18) girls 9–12 years old.
Heel QUS, height, weight, percent body fat (bioelectrical impedance), and Tanner Sex Stage (self-report) were measured.
JR were significantly younger and had less body fat than NA (p < .01). No other between group differences were found. OCSI was not different between groups even after correcting for fat mass (p > 0.3). Broadband attenuation (BUA) was correlated with Tanner stage (R > .40; p = .01).
QUS of the heel bone is more related to pubertal status than to JR participation in young girls. Prepubertal girls who perform high intensity jumping have similar bone quality measures as normally active girls.