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Sociology of Sport: Germany and Switzerland

Sociology of Sport: A Global Subdiscipline in Review

ISBN: 978-1-78635-050-3, eISBN: 978-1-78635-049-7

ISSN: 1476-2854

Publication date: 10 November 2016


This chapter examines the origins and institutionalization of sport sociology in Germany and Switzerland and provides an overview of the current state of research. It shows how academic chairs and research committees were established and how the first textbooks, anthologies, and journals appeared from the 1970s onwards. The institutionalization process of German-speaking sport sociology proceeded parallel to the establishment of sport science. With regard to its theoretical and empirical basis, German-speaking sport sociology is rooted in theories and concepts of general sociology. Studies using a system theory perspective, conceptualizing sport as a societal sub-system and examining its linkage with and dependence on economy, media, or politics are particularly common in the German-speaking region. In addition, actor theoretic perspectives are very popular, and French sociologists such as Bourdieu and Foucault have had a marked influence on German-speaking sport sociology. A large number of sport sociology studies are concerned with the changes in leisure and elite sports. In this context, the emergence of new trends in risk sports as well as the fitness boom and its implications on body perception are of special interest. Further areas of research refer to sport participation and the impact of social inequality, particularly with respect to gender differences and social integration. Finally, organization research focusing on change at the level of sport associations and clubs has a long tradition. Major challenges for the future of German-speaking sport sociology include its internationalization and an enhanced international linkage in order to improve the visibility of research results.



Lamprecht, M., Nagel, S. and Stamm, H. (2016), "Sociology of Sport: Germany and Switzerland", Sociology of Sport: A Global Subdiscipline in Review (Research in the Sociology of Sport, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 187-206.



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