To outline the multiple ways in which animals are inserted into sporting practices, outline historical and contemporary approaches to studying human–animal sporting practices, and advocate for the centering of sociological problems in human–animal research in sporting contexts and cultures and for considering such problems in relation to environmental issues.
In the first part of the chapter, conceptual differentiation of animals in the animal–sport complex is presented. Subsequently, studies of interspecies sport are reviewed with reference to the “animal turn” in the literature. In the second part, a critique is presented relating to: (1) the privileging of companion animals, especially dogs and horses, which overlooks the multiple ways animals are integrated into (multispecies) sport; (2) micro-sociological and insider ethnographies of companionship displacing of sociological problems in favor of relationship perspectives; and (3) the environment as absent from analysis. The conclusion offers implications for understanding multispecies sport and the environment.
I chart a general shift in emphasis and focus from animals as an “absent presence” in pursuit of sociological knowledge toward a clearly defined focus on interspecies sport as a field of research characterized by investigations of relationships with companion animals through the “animal turn.”
The focus on companion species means other animals (i.e., noncompanions) are understudied, big picture sociological questions are often sidelined, environmental concerns marginalized, and sociological understanding of the environment more generally is either ignored or reduced to a conduit of human–animal interactions.
This chapter outlines the paucity of media research attending to mental health and mental illness in sport. As such, the purpose of this chapter is to encourage critical reflection and further research on the mass mediation of mental illness in sport.
In the first part of the chapter, we review the extensive literature addressing the mass mediation of mental illness and mental health in order to provide key reference points for future scholarship. We then suggest to potential avenues for sociological study of this topic: Talcott Parson’s sick role and Guy Debord’s spectacle.
The authors find that the notion of the sick role provides insight into the assumptions underpinning athlete disclosure of mental illness as well as encouragement of help seeking behavior in relation to mental illness specifically. From a broader perspective on mental health, the authors identify a central challenge of the spectacular presentation of mental health and well-being and the lived experience.
The central limitation of the field currently is the dearth of research. Similarly, in providing a broad overview of key considerations, this chapter does not undertake primary media analysis of mental illness in sport. Nonetheless, the authors outline key considerations and lines of inquiry for the field.
Purpose – The chapter outlines mixed methods as a recursive and co-operative approach to research. In doing so, it challenges the dominant conception of ‘real’ mixed…
Purpose – The chapter outlines mixed methods as a recursive and co-operative approach to research. In doing so, it challenges the dominant conception of ‘real’ mixed methods research as requiring the use of methods from both qualitative and quantitative frameworks by outlining not only logistic and pragmatic issues requiring the attention of researchers but also the underlying philosophical tensions inherent in mixed method designs.
Design/methodology/approach – The process of designing a mixed methods project that investigated the sociological and phenomenological impact of running shoes is outlined with reference to the various pragmatic and epistemological considerations of the project.
Findings – Many researchers require mixed methods to draw on both quantitative and qualitative techniques. However, this chapter demonstrates that such an understanding of mixed methods marginalises critical and interpretivist techniques. It is argued that studies of sport and physical culture have frequently used more than one research method. However, in order for these to be considered mixed methods studies, an explicit attempt is required to connect each technique of data collection and analysis, regardless of the research paradigm in which they operate.
Research limitations/implications – The limitations of mixed methods designs are discussed in relation to pragmatic and logistic concerns as well as the difficulty of connecting methods that present different underlying philosophical assumptions.
Originality/value – This chapter demonstrates the design of a mixed methods project from the initial process of identifying a research problem through to data collection, analysis and publication.
In assembling a research design using qualitative methods, what we are really doing is building bridges between the ways that we see the world and the ways that we think…
In assembling a research design using qualitative methods, what we are really doing is building bridges between the ways that we see the world and the ways that we think it would be best examined and explained. Another way of saying this is that qualitative methods link ontology, epistemology and the Millsian sociological imagination (Mills, 1959).