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Kathleen E. Bachynski

literature, hockey magazines, equipment buyers’ guides, sports health conference proceedings, and interviews and archival material from physicians and engineers, this paper explores how head and facial protection became an assumed and standard requirement for playing hockey in North America. In addition to

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Claire C. Murchison, Avery Ironside, Lila M.A. Hedayat and Heather J.A. Foulds

North American indigenous populations include Inuit, First Nations (FN), and Métis in Canada, and American Indian (AI) and Alaskan Native, collectively referred to as Native American in the United States. 1 , 2 Indigenous populations of North America face considerable health disparities including

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Kevin Young

This paper examines the view that there is no serious fan violence in North America. North American sport has shown a stubborn resilience in maintaining its “squeaky clean” image despite the fact that fan disorders occurred throughout the twentieth century, continue to show signs of consistency and institutional patterning, and have prompted extensive measures from sports officials, police, and authorities. The paper explores nature and extent issues, the varied responses by the authorities, preliminary explanatory approaches, and the possibility that a particular style of media coverage may have contributed to misunderstandings about the phenomena. Characterizing the ongoing fascination in the sociology of sport with a variety of forms of violence done by and to athletes as appropriate but unbalanced, the paper recommends a revival in research momentum on North American sports crowd disorder which remains a socially significant but understudied topic.

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John W. Loy, James E. Curtis and James M. Hillen

This paper replicates Grusky’s (1963) study of the playing position-leadership recruitment relationship among North American professional baseball clubs in a different cultural context, comparing it to Japanese professional base-ball organizations over a 40-year period. Overall, the Japanese results are consistent with the North American findings, with the more central or high interaction positions contributing more leaders or field managers. However, the relationship is considerably weaker for the sport in Japan. There were also significant cross-cultural differences in the consequences of players having held the positions of pitcher and catcher. Alternative interpretations of the results are offered, and the implications of the results for choices of appropriate research strategies are presented.

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Jean Harvey, Alan Law and Michael Cantelon

This paper maps the current ownership patterns of North American major professional sports franchises in order to assess the extent to which they are interconnected with media/entertainment conglomerates. First, the 120 franchises are classified according to owner’s industrial sector. Second, five models of linkages between franchises and media/entertainment corporations are followed by case studies representative of each. The paper concludes that indeed empirical evidence supports the alleged increasing control of North American pro sport franchises by large media/entertainment conglomerates. However, the paper also demonstrates that the phenomenon involves much more diversity than the major conglomerates commonly identified in the current literature. Finally, the paper discusses the impacts of this trend on sport, as well as on fans.

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Alan G. Ingham and Peter Donnelly

As we pass the 30th anniversary of a recognized sociology of sport in North America, it is appropriate to develop a current sociological analysis of the subdiscipline. In the first part we examine the origins of the field and the development of the Wisconsin socialization paradigm and the social problems perspective. In the second part we explore the critical shift in the field, emerging from an engagement with C. Wright Mills, and the development of a political economy perspective. In the third part we review the turn to Antonio Gramsci and cultural studies, focusing particularly on the themes of gender and the body. We conclude by considering whether, given the current eclecticism, sociology of sport is still a legitimate description of our field.

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Dorene Ciletti, John Lanasa, Diane Ramos, Ryan Luchs and Junying Lou

Based on a review of North American professional sports teams, this study provides insight on how teams are communicating commitment to sustainability principles and practices on their Web sites. Web sites for 126 teams across 4 different leagues were examined for content relative to triple-bottom-line dimensions. Global Reporting Initiative indicator codes and definitions were constructs for the model and aligned to social, environmental, and economic principles for categories of sustainability practices. Although teams are including sustainability information on their Web sites, the vast majority downplay economic issues and highlight social issues on their home pages and subsequent pages; communication about environmental factors varies by league. The study shows differences across leagues and suggests that although some teams are communicating a commitment to sustainability, others may not be considering stakeholder perceptions of their Web-site communications or whether sustainability efforts affect public consumption of league offerings or attitudes toward professional sports.

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Stephen L. Shapiro, Tim DeSchriver and Daniel A. Rascher

Luxury suites have become a key revenue source and an important element of sport facility design for professional sport organizations. There are a variety of factors influencing the pricing of luxury suites; however, the recent recession has impacted the premium seat sales market significantly. The current investigation was the first empirical examination of luxury suite pricing determinants for professional sport facilities. An economic model, utilizing multiple regression analysis, was constructed to examine the relationship between the current price of luxury suites for major North American professional sports facilities and selected demographic, economic, and team/facility/league-specific explanatory variables, in a uncertain economic climate. The final economic models were found to be significant, explaining 57% and 60% of the variability in luxury suite prices, respectively. Significant variables of interest included team performance and league affiliation, which had a positive influence and the number of competing venues, which had a negative influence on luxury suite prices. The current findings further the body of knowledge in the pricing of admissions to sporting events though the development of the first pricing determinants models for luxury suites, which take into consideration the tenuous economic environment.

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James E. Curtis and Jack S. Birch

A conventional wisdom in the lay sociology of sport journalism is that North American professional ice hockey players are disproportionately recruited from smaller communities and rural areas. One explanation given for this is that avenues for social mobility are more limited in such communities and that sport is heavily pursued as one of the few areas of opportunity. Sections of the sociological literature would suggest, though, that the opposite relationship may occur because larger cities have better opportunity structures for developing and expressing sport skills. These alternative expectations are tested for Canadian-born players in three professional leagues and for players on the last three Olympic teams. In addition, data for U.S. Olympic teams are presented. In interpreting the results, we also employ Canadian national survey data on mass participation of male youths in hockey. The findings show that the largest cities are underrepresented as birthplaces of players at each elite level, whereas small towns are overrepresented. Yet, community size does not appear related to the general population of male youths’ rate of participation in hockey. Emphasized are interpretations concerning how amateur hockey is organized.

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Laura Cousens and Trevor Slack

The organizational field encompassing North American major league professional sport changed dramatically over the last quarter century despite the constraining forces associated with this level. Given this, the purpose of this article was to explore the evolution of one organizational field over an extended time period in order to enhance our understanding of the multifaceted nature of its change. Four dimensions of this field were considered for study: communities of actors, their exchange processes, their governance structures, and their beliefs and institutional logics of action. These dimensions were operationalized to provide evidence of the evolution of the organizational field. Data were collected from personal interviews with league and franchise leaders, from documents retrieved from the leagues and Halls of Fame, and from a selection of historical books. The results of this research show increased interaction among the actors in the field, a growing awareness that they were engaged in a common enterprise, and the erosion of the coexisting logics of action prevalent in the field in the early 1970s.