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Sports-related Brain Injury: Concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

The Suffering Body in Sport

ISBN: 978-1-78756-069-7, eISBN: 978-1-78756-068-0

Publication date: 24 July 2019



To examine the ways in which sports-related brain injury (concussion and subconcussion) is both similar to and different from other injuries and to set out a sociological understanding of the injury, its manifestation and management.


There is a broad contextualization of the ‘issue’ of concussion and the processes that have brought this to the fore, an examination of the ways in which concussion has been figuratively clouded from plain view, and an outline of the main contributions of the social sciences to understanding this injury – the culture of risk and the mediating effect of social relationships. The chapter concludes by questioning whether the emergence of concerns over chronic traumatic encephalopathy has stimulated a fundamental change in attitudes towards sport injuries, and if this has had a significant impact on the social visibility of concussion.


The two available sociological studies of the lived experiences of concussion are situated within a broader analysis of the politicization of sports medicine and the emergence of a particular social discourse around sports-related brain injury.


The difficulties emanating from the dominance of a biomedical approach to concussion are discussed along with the need for further research, incorporating a more holistic view of concussion, as a bio-psycho-social phenomenon.



Liston, K. and Malcolm, D. (2019), "Sports-related Brain Injury: Concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy", The Suffering Body in Sport (Research in the Sociology of Sport, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 89-104.



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