In today’s world, people’s perceptions of various individuals, countries, races, genders, schools, and even companies are often affected by the sports they watch, read about, or listen to. The impact of sport on these perceptions is covered extensively in Contemporary Issues in Sociology of Sport. This text provides some of the best contemporary writing and research on the sociology of sport.
The text is organized into 12 learning units and includes 34 articles from writers and researchers with varied backgrounds. Introductions are provided for each of the units. They include brief summaries of the articles that follow and probing study questions that challenge the reader to think critically about the material.
Edited by Andrew Yiannakis, PhD, and Merrill J. Melnick, PhD, Contemporary Issues in Sociology of Sport includes
an exploration of topics and themes that have received limited attention in other sociology of sport texts but have been long-standing social concerns,
a review of the attitudes toward female athletes and the anti-homosexual phobias present in sport,
an in-depth look at the impoverishment of children’s games in America,
an overview of high school sport participation,
a study of the challenges and benefits of the big-time collegiate sport experience,
a critique of television’s impact on sport and its portrayal of gender and race, and
a review of sport and globalization.
Unit I provides the reader with a historical background on the development of sociology of sport and addresses several critical issues about the relationship between sociology, physical education, and sociology of sport. The text includes an explanation of the growth of the sociology of sport field since 1980, the emergence and growth of the New Physical Education, and a review of the emerging field of sport pedagogy.
Unit II illustrates the power and influence of sport on American values, attitudes, behaviors, and cultural practices and its manifestations in our interpersonal and gender relations.
Unit III examines whether adult-controlled sport programs are good for children. The authors explore the Little League phenomenon, which they contrast and compare with the spontaneous culture of free play.
Unit IV examines the positive and negative effects of high school sport participation, in relationship to other extracurricular activities, on the educational and developmental experiences of student-athletes.
Unit V explores the realities, demands, and opportunities created by commercialized, high-visibility collegiate sports and their effects on athletes and universities.
Unit VI illustrates and examines how race-related discriminatory practices continue to manifest themselves in the world of sport. Specific topics include the allocation of playing positions by race, the use of racially insensitive team names, and racial stratification in professional sport.
Unit VII focuses on the social construction of feminine, masculine, and heterosexualized bodies within exercise and sport-related contexts.
Unit VIII explores the ways sport produces and reproduces the gender order while serving as “contested terrain” with respect to the construction of feminine and masculine gender scripts.
Unit IX explores the mass media’s coverage of selected athletes and their sports, and how heavily mediated representations influence perceptions of race, class, gender, and sexuality.
Unit X examines the underlying causes of deviance in sport and focuses on such activities as larceny, drug use, and aggression outside of sport.
Unit XI explores the role and structure of alternative sport communities, especially in creating and maintaining personal identity, in satisfying psychological needs, and in providing contexts for resistance to dominant sport ideologies.
Unit XII reviews the influence of Americanization and globalization processes on local sport cultures and practices.
Contemporary Issues in Sociology of Sport is a must-read for anyone interested in a better understanding of the social significance of sport.
Unit I: Emergence and Development of Sociology of Sport 1. Physical Education, Sociology, and Sociology of Sport: Points of Intersection
-George H. Sage
Unit II: Sport, Power, and Ideology 2. The Great American Football Ritual: Reproducing Race, Class, and Gender Inequality
-Douglas E. Foley 3. Sports Ideology, Attitudes Towards Women, and Anti-homosexual Attitudes
-Joseph Harry 4. Disqualifying the Official: An Exploration of Social Resistance Through the Subculture of Skateboarding
Unit III: Children in Sport 5. Backyard Versus Little League Baseball: Some Observations on the Impoverishment of Children’s Games in Contemporary America
-Edward C. Devereux 6. Learning Life’s Lessons in Tee Ball: The Reinforcement of Gender and Status in Kindergarten Sport
-Melissa A. Landers and Gary Alan Fine 7. Action Research in Youth Soccer: Assessing the Acceptability of an Alternative Program
-B. Christine Green
Unit IV: Impacts of High School Sports Participation 8. Participation in High School Competitive Sports: A Subversion of School Mission or Contribution to Academic Goals?
-Naomi Fejgin 9. Athletic Participation and Sexual Behavior in Adolescents: The Different Worlds of Boys and Girls
-Kathleen E. Miller, Donald F. Sabo, Michael P. Farrell, Grace M. Barnes, Merrill J. Melnick 10. Student Council, Volunteering, Basketball, or Marching Band: What Kind of Extracurricular Involvement Matters?
-Jacquelynne S. Eccles and Bonnie L. Barber
Unit V: Big-Time Sports and the College Experience 11. College Sports Inc.: The Athletic Department vs. the University
-Murray Sperber 12. Sport Participation and Women’s Personal Empowerment: Experiences of the College Athlete
-Elaine M. Blinde, Diane E. Taub, Lingling Han 13. The College Life Experiences of African American Women Athletes
-Robert M. Sellers, Gabriel P. Kuperminc, Alphonse Damas Jr.
Unit VI: Race, Ethnicity, and Sport 14. The Stacking of Latinos in Major League Baseball: A Forgotten Minority?
-G. Leticia González 15. Hail to the Redskins? Public Reactions to a Racially Insensitive Team Name
-Lee Sigelman 16. Blacks As Key Functionaries: A Study of Racial Stratification in Professional Sport
-Arthur S. Evans Jr.
Unit VII: The Body in Culture and Sport 17. Machines, Missiles and Men: Images of the Male Body on ABC’s Monday Night Football
-Nick Trujillo 18. Firm but Shapely, Fit but Sexy, Strong but Thin: The Postmodern Aerobicizing Female Bodies
-Pirkko Markula 19. The Politics of the Body and the Body Politic: Magic Johnson and the Ideology of AIDS
Unit VIII: Gender and Sport: Constructions of Femininity and Masculinity 20. Snowboarding: The Construction of Gender in an Emerging Sport
-Kristin L. Anderson 21. Tender Machos: Masculine Contrasts in the Mexican Baseball League
-Alan M. Klein 22. “It’s Part of the Game”: Physicality and the Production of Gender in Women’s Hockey
Unit IX: Sport and the Mediated Image 23. The Gender of Audience Building: Televised Coverage of Women’s and Men’s NCAA Basketball
-Michael A. Messner, Margaret Carlisle Duncan, Faye Linda Wachs 24.Speed, Aggression, Strength, and Tactical Naivete: The Portrayal of the Black Soccer Player on Television
-David McCarthy and Robyn L. Jones 25.Reading Nancy Lopez: Decoding Representations of Race, Class, and Sexuality
-Katherine M. Jamieson
Unit X: Sport and Deviance: The Darker Side of Sportsworld 26. Positive Deviance Among Athletes: The Implications of Overconformity to the Sport Ethic
-Robert Hughes and Jay Coakley 27. Interpretations and Explanations of Deviance Among College Athletes: A Case Study
-Eldon E. Snyder 28. Gender, Sport, and Aggressive Behavior Outside Sport
-Howard L. Nixon II
Unit XI: Sport Subcultures: Alternate Sport Communities and Personal Identity 29. The Construction and Confirmation of Identity in Sport Subcultures
-Peter Donnelly and Kevin Young 30. Pumping Irony: Crisis and Contradiction in Bodybuilding
-Alan M. Klein 31. The Changing Gender Order in Sport? The Case of Windsurfing Subcultures
-Belinda Wheaton and Alan Tomlinson
Unit XII: Sport and Globalization 32. Sport, World Economy, Global Culture, and New Social Movements
-Jean Harvey and François Houle 33. Sport and Culture As Contested Terrain: Americanization in the Caribbean
-Alan M. Klein 34. Between and Beyond the Global and the Local: American Popular Sporting Culture in New Zealand
-Steven J. Jackson and David L. Andrews.
About the Editors
Textbook for both upper-level undergraduate and graduate students studying sociology of sport. Reference for sport sociologists and sport social scientists.
Andrew Yiannakis, PhD, is currently the professor and director of the Laboratory for Leisure, Tourism and Sport at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.
Yiannakis was cofounder and the first president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. He is also former president of the Sport Sociology Academy of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).
He has authored numerous articles on a variety of topics in the field and was the senior editor of four editions of the popular text Sport Sociology: Contemporary Themes. He is also senior editor of Applied Sociology of Sport, a book of readings explicating the relationship between theory and application. He currently resides in Coventry, Connecticut, with his wife, Linda. He enjoys horseback riding, reading historical novels, and teaching and participating in jujitsu.
Merrill J. Melnick, PhD, is a professor of physical education and sport at the State University of New York College at Brockport. In 1998, he was awarded the university's prestigious chancellor's award for excellence in teaching.
Melnick is a founding member of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and a former president of the Sport Sociology Academy of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. He has published more than 80 articles and presented both nationally and internationally in the area of sociology of sport. He coauthored the book Sport Fans: The Psychology and Social Impact of Spectators and also coresearched and coauthored three national studies for the Women's Sports Foundation.
Melnick lives with his wife, Shoshana, in Brockport, New York. He enjoys vegetable gardening, camping, canoeing, and playing tennis.