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This chapter provides readers with a summary of sport sociology in the United States. It begins with a brief overview of sport in the United States before describing the…
This chapter provides readers with a summary of sport sociology in the United States. It begins with a brief overview of sport in the United States before describing the development of the sociology of sport in the United States and some of the major contemporary patterns in sport research. They key movement in US sport sociology was the critical-cultural turn that took place during the 1980s and 1990s when critical theory and feminism became dominant approaches to research. Scholarship in the 21st century has largely developed upon that turn and is generally qualitative and cultural. Contemporary US sport sociology is a critical endeavor heavily influenced by cultural studies, post-structuralism, feminism, queer theory, critical race theory, post-colonial theory, and theories of globalization. Despite a fairly consistent approach to sport research in the United States, sport sociology remains contentious and in disunity. This chapter argues that the contention and disunity results from broader structural patterns that guide sport sociologists’ social actions.
This chapter explores how long-distance truckers in the contemporary United States navigate work and family obligations. It examines how Christianity and constructions of…
This chapter explores how long-distance truckers in the contemporary United States navigate work and family obligations. It examines how Christianity and constructions of masculinity are significant in the lives of these long-haul drivers and how truckers work to construct narratives of their lives as “good, moral” individuals in contrast to competing cultural narratives which suggest images of romantic, rule-free, renegade lives on the open road.
This study is based upon ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, observations of long-haul truckers, and participation in a trucking school for eight months in 2005–2006 and an additional four months in 2007–2008. Using feminist grounded theory, I highlight how Christian trucking provides avenues through which balance is struck between work and family and between masculinity and other identities.
Christian truckers draw upon older ideas about responsible, breadwinning fatherhood in their discourse about being good “fathers” while on the road. This discourse is in some conflict with the lived experiences of Christian truckers who simultaneously find themselves confronted by cultural narratives and expectations of what it means to be a good “worker” or a good “trucker.”
As these men navigate both work and social locations, gender expectations are challenged and strategies to ameliorate the work/family balance are essential.
Originality/value of chapter
The chapter contributes to discourse on gender studies as well as to the reshaping of ideology and practices of work and family in contemporary American culture.