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This chapter adopts a reflective approach exploring and setting out the contrasting factors that led to the establishment of the subdiscipline in both countries. The…
This chapter adopts a reflective approach exploring and setting out the contrasting factors that led to the establishment of the subdiscipline in both countries. The factors included the role of key individuals and their respective academic backgrounds and specialisations within each country’s higher education system. Furthermore, attention is given to the particular circumstances in a case analysis comparison of the oldest programs in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia. This sheds light upon the factors linked to the disproportionate success profile for the sociology of sport in Aotearoa/New Zealand. An analysis of scholars and programs within each country reveals important differences aligned with the politics of funding and the variety and extent of systematic structures. Additionally, scholars’ specialisations and preferences reveal a broad offering but are primarily linked to globalisation, gender relations, indigeneity and race relations, social policy, and media studies. This work has been undertaken variously via the critical tradition including Birmingham School cultural studies, ethnographic and qualitative approaches and, more recently by some, a postmodern poststructuralist trend. Lastly, along with a brief discussion of current issues, future challenges are set out.
This Introduction gives a historical and theoretical overview of this volume on Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age, which showcases…
This Introduction gives a historical and theoretical overview of this volume on Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age, which showcases original research in political sociology of science targeting the changes in scientific and technological policy and practice associated with the rise of neoliberal thought and policies since the 1970s. We argue that an existing family of field theoretic frameworks and empirical field analyses provides a particularly useful set of ideas and approaches for the meso-level understanding of these historical changes in ways that complement as well as challenge other theory traditions in sociology of science, broadly defined. The collected papers exhibit a dual focus on sciences’ interfield relations, connecting science and science policy to political, economic, educational, and other fields and on the institutional logics of scientific fields that pattern expert discourses, practices, and knowledge and shape relations of the scientific field to the rest of the world. By reconceptualizing the central problem for political sociology of science as a problem of field- and inter-field dynamics, and by critically engaging other theory traditions whose assumptions are in some ways undermined by the contemporary history of neoliberalism, we believe these papers collectively chart an important theoretical agenda for future research in the sociology of science.
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…
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.
What is “postcolonial sociology”? While the study of postcoloniality has taken on the form of “postcolonial theory” in the humanities, sociology's approach to postcolonial…
What is “postcolonial sociology”? While the study of postcoloniality has taken on the form of “postcolonial theory” in the humanities, sociology's approach to postcolonial issues has been comparably muted. This essay considers postcolonial theory in the humanities and its potential utility for reorienting sociological theory and research. After sketching the historical background and context of postcolonial studies, three broad areas of contribution to sociology are highlighted: reconsiderations of agency, the injunction to overcome analytic bifurcations, and a recognition of sociology's imperial standpoint.
Sociology of sport in the United Kingdom is as old as the subdiscipline itself but was uniquely shaped by the prominence of football hooliganism as a major social issue in…
Sociology of sport in the United Kingdom is as old as the subdiscipline itself but was uniquely shaped by the prominence of football hooliganism as a major social issue in the 1970s and 1980s. While it remains a somewhat niche activity, the field has been stimulated by the growing cultural centrality of sport in UK society. This quantitative and qualitative development has been recognized in recent governmental evaluations of research expertise. Current research reflects this expanded range of social stratification and social issues in sport both domestically and on a global level, while the legacy of hooligan research is evident in the continuing concentration on studies of association football. Historically, this empirical research has largely been underpinned by figurational, Marxist/neo-Marxist, or feminist sociological theories, but there is now a greater emphasis on theoretical synthesis and exploration. As a consequence of the expansion of the field, allied to its empirical and theoretical diversity, there is a burgeoning literature produced by UK sociologists of sport that spans entry-level textbooks, research monographs, and the editorship of a significant number of specialist journals. The chapter concludes by noting the future prospects of the sociology of sport in the United Kingdom in relation to teaching, research, and relations with other sport-related subdisciplines and the sociological mainstream.
This chapter explores the emergence, growth, and current status of the sociology of sport in Canada. Such an endeavour includes acknowledging the work and efforts of Canadian scholars – whether Canadian by birth or naturalization or just as a result of their geographic location – who have contributed to the vibrant and robust academic discipline that is the sociology of sport in Canadian institutions coast-to-coast, and who have advanced the socio-cultural study of sport globally in substantial ways. This chapter does not provide an exhaustive description and analysis of the past and present states of the sociology of sport in Canada; in fact, it is important to note that an in-depth, critical and comprehensive analysis of our field in Canada is sorely lacking. Rather, this chapter aims to highlight the major historical drivers (both in terms of people and trends) of the field in Canada; provide a snapshot of the sociology of sport in Canada currently; and put forth some ideas as to future opportunities and challenges for the field in Canada.
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 article critically reconstructs how Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer outlined the new scientific discipline of sociology in the nineteenth century. It aims to…
This article critically reconstructs how Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer outlined the new scientific discipline of sociology in the nineteenth century. It aims to demonstrate how their ideas for founding sociology creatively responded to the challenges of creating a new science from scratch. Finally, a different view of the so-called “founding fathers” will enable a new self-conception of sociology today. Analyzing classical sociological works usually entails focusing on authors' ideas and concepts. This paper, on the other hand, takes into account the self-descriptions of these authors and examines how they present themselves as founders of sociology. It conducts a close reading of the sociological concepts and autobiographical texts written by both Comte and Spencer. This allows us to highlight the conceptual tension between the sociological subject matter, society as an ordered object, and the self-descriptions of the authors as exceptional scientists. It also demonstrates how important the figurative elements are in this analysis. This new approach contributes to the history of ideas in general and the history of sociology in particular by offering an exploration of narrative and figurative elements in the sociological “classics.” It thus creates a deeper understanding and clearer image of the foundations of what later became sociology. Founding a new discipline is a creative act that not only consists in theoretical conceptualizations but also implies figurative aspects. These can be found primarily in the way the authors describe themselves. Furthermore, their textual and diagrammatical articulations can be understood as “founding figures” on which the idea of a figurative sociology is based.
This article addresses the way in which perceptions about the globalized nature of the world in which we live are beginning to have an impact within sociology such that…
This article addresses the way in which perceptions about the globalized nature of the world in which we live are beginning to have an impact within sociology such that sociology has to engage not just with the changing conceptual architecture of globalization, but also with recognition of the epistemological value and agency of the world beyond the West. I address three main developments within sociology that focus on these concerns: first, the shift to a multiple modernities paradigm; second, a call for a multicultural global sociology; and third, an argument in favor of a global cosmopolitan approach. While the three approaches under discussion are based on a consideration of the “rest of the world,” their terms, I suggest, are not adequate to the avowed intentions. None of these responses is sufficient in their address of earlier omissions and each falls back into the problems of the mainstream position that is otherwise being criticized. In contrast, I argue that it is only by acknowledging the significance of the “colonial global” in the constitution of sociology that it is possible to understand and address the necessarily postcolonial (and decolonial) present of “global sociology.”