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Kristine Bisgaard and Jan Toftegaard Støckel

on these theories; however he claims the main weakness in theoretical accounts of sexual violence is the detachment of individual agency from the wider sociocultural context. He suggests that Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of action ( 1998 ) offers a wider range of theoretical perspectives to achieve a

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Suzanne Laberge

Although Bourdieu’s conceptual system can be of interest to feminists, few have used it because of its androcentrism. This paper considers McCall’s (1992) proposal to correct this androcentric bias by integrating gender distinction with the concept of cultural capital. This integration is supported by some theoretical affinities between Bourdieu’s model and Harding’s (1986) feminist approach, which relate to three elements at work in the production of social life: dichotomous symbolic structure, the organization of social activity, and schemes of subjective dispositions. Some limitations to Bourdieu’s model are considered. However, in the last part of the article, it is argued that the adaptation of Bourdieu’s model is a potentially enriching approach, and an illustration is provided with examples of gendered experiences in sport.

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Peter A. English

Exclusive news is a demand of most news organizations, but previous research suggests the pursuit of unique material leads to uniformity of content among competitors. Bourdieu is among those who have argued homogeneity dominates journalism, and aspects of his field theory will be used to analyze the extent to which this occurs in sports journalism. Employing a sample of 6 broadsheet/quality sports sections from Australia, India, and the United Kingdom, this study examines the amounts of exclusive content and the same and similar articles in the sports pages. Thirty-six in-depth interviews with sports journalists from the titles were conducted, along with a content analysis of 4,103 print and online articles. The results show small levels of exclusive material and a tendency for domestic rivals to produce larger amounts of similar stories. This was often in contrast to the views of the sports journalists.

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David Brown

This paper explores the central thesis of one of Pierre Bourdieu’s last texts before his death in 2001, La Domination Masculine (1999). This text was subsequently translated and published in English in 2001 as Masculine Domination. I present the view that this text is not merely his only sustained commentary on gender relations but a potentially important intellectual contribution to the way in which we might view the embodiment of gender relations in sport and physical culture. Accordingly, I examine Bourdieu’s relational thesis of masculine domination as a three-part process of observation, somatization, and naturalization. I then give consideration to how sociologists of sport might use such critical analytical tools to render more transparent what Bourdieu refers to as the “illusio” of this phenomenon that is constructed by the practical everyday embodied enactments of gender relations in sport and physical culture.

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Joanne Kay and Suzanne Laberge

Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of field, this paper explores the particular stakes and struggles that animate both the relationships among adventure racing (AR) participants and the competition among race organizers in order to highlight the social dynamic and power structure of this new “lifestyle” sport. Our investigation relies on a diversity of qualitative data, namely semi-structured interviews with 37 AR participants. Adventure Racing Association Listserve discussion, and participant observation of Eco-Challenge Argentina 1999. Our analysis demonstrates that what is at stake in the AR field is both the definition of the sport practice’s legitimate form as well as its orientation with respect to two dominant delineating forces: “authenticity” and “spectacularization” of the adventure. These two forces currently constitute the specific forms of capital (sources of prestige) that define the AR field.

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Jacques Defrance

The works of Pierre Bourdieu contribute to the establishment of a true sociology of culture and open prospects for the sociology of sport. A review of the genesis of this sociology shows that it has been constructed through breaks with French sociology’s way of approaching culture in the 1960s. The presentation of some of Bourdieu’s concepts is intended to show how they illuminate the social coherence of cultural behaviors and how the latter fit together. Finally, the paper emphasizes the relevance of such cultural analyses for those who study the social uses of the body, sport culture, or physical education.

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Faye Linda Wachs and Laura Frances Chase

This paper explains the failure of an obesity intervention funded by a Carol M. White U.S. Department of Education grant which created a three way partnership between middle schools in a poor largely Latino school district, the local University, and local after-school care providers. This paper assesses the project and situates it theoretically using Foucault’s microphysics of power and Bourdieu’s concepts of capital to analyze the refusal of most students and teachers to engage in the program and the standardized testing required by the state. We further articulate a new form of Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic violence based on position in the consumer hierarchy. We conclude with a critique of grant mechanisms as a means of addressing health issues, and situate the obesity epidemic as a social construction that perpetuates inequality and discourses of power.

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Holly Thorpe

Feminist theorizing in the sociology of sport and physical culture has progressed through ongoing and intense dialogue with an array of critical positions and voices in the social sciences (e.g., Judith Butler, R.W. Connell, Michel Foucault). Yet, somewhat surprisingly, the work of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu—arguably one of modern sociology’s “most important voices of social critique and theoretical innovation” (Krais, 2006, p. 120)—has gone largely unheard among critical sports scholars interested in gender (notable exceptions include Atencio, Beal & Wilson, 2009; Brown, 2006; Kay & Laberge, 2004; Laberge, 1995). In this paper I introduce recent feminist engagements with Bourdieu’s original work to a critical sports sociology readership via a case study of snowboarding culture and female snowboarders. I begin by briefly examining the efficacy of three of Bourdieu’s key concepts—capital, field and habitus—for explaining gender and embodiment in snowboarding culture. I then consider how the habitus-field complex can illustrate the “synchronous nature of constraint and freedom” (McNay, 2000, p. 61) for women in contemporary physical culture.

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Jean-Paul Clément

This article deals with works in sport sociology based on Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of habitus and field. The work of Defrance introduced this theory in social history. Subsequently, Pociello and his team demonstrated the relations existing between the space of sports and that of social positions as well as the role of symbolic struggles involving various groups of sports participants in the dynamics of the sports system. The power of symbolism associated with sporting practices is closely bound to the social relevance of the physical dimension in sports. Also discussed is the equivalency between struggles for the definition of the legitimate body and social political struggles. The theoretical and methodological coherence of the works discussed here is sufficient to label them a “school” within sociology of sport.

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Pierre Bourdieu