Introduction to the Sociology of Sport


The sociology of sport is a relatively new scientific discipline, which has spread rapidly and developed in different directions across the world. It investigates social behavior, social processes, and social structures in sport, as well as the relationship between sport and society. The book Introduction to the Sociology of Sport aims to give its readers a comprehensive overview of this fascinating topic. For this purpose, it shows the interrelations between sport and identity, social class, gender, socialization, social groups, (mass) communication, the economy, and politics. In addition, the book introduces a new, innovative theory that helps readers understand the social specificity and worldwide popularity of sport.

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Otmar Weiss, Ph.D. (Vienna, 1984), professor at the Department of Sport Science at the University of Vienna, has written five books, edited seven, and published approx. 100 articles nationally and internationally, including the study report European Sport Index in European Journal for Sport and Society.

Gilbert Norden, Ph.D. (Vienna, 1984), professor at the Department of Sociology at the University of Vienna, has written four books, edited three, and published 35 research reports and approx. 160 articles in scientific journals, including the International Journal of the History of Sport.
“In adopting their approach, the authors widen the lens through which to critically study sport. This more global, theoretical, and comparative approach is academically laudable”. J. R. Mitrano, in Choice Connect, 2022.

1  The subject matter of sociology
2  Sociology of sport: subject area, theoretical approaches, and different methods
3  Sport and society
3.1  Sport and culture: values in society and in sport
3.1.1  Sport and civilization
3.2  Expansion of sport, internal differentiation, and trends
4  Socialization and sport
4.1  Gender roles in sport
4.1.1  Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intergender (LGBTI) people in sport
4.2  Social stratification in sport
4.2.1  Physical habitus, somatic culture, and social distinction
4.2.2  Sports of the lower social classes
4.2.3  Sports of the upper social classes
5  Sport and the social group
5.1  Social processes in sport groups
5.1.1  Group size and group task in sport
5.1.2  Group cohesion in sport
5.2  Social facilitation
6  Sport, social recognition, and identity
6.1  Anthropological constants
6.1.1  World-openness
6.1.2  Excentricity
6.1.3  Pursuit of recognition  Durkheim’s study on suicides
6.2  Social recognition in sport
6.2.1  Recognition as a member of a group
6.2.2  Recognition in an ascribed role
6.2.3  Recognition in an achieved role
6.2.4  Recognition in a public role
6.2.5  Recognition of personal identity
6.3  African Americans in sport
6.4  Action and representation in society and in sport
6.5  Sport as a social phenomenon
7  Violence and doping in sport
8  Towards the joy of play and movement in sport
8.1  The flow experience in sport
9  Sport and communication
10  Sport spectators
10.1  Social integration
10.2  Identification
10.3  Experiencing suspense and showing intense emotions
10.4  Sport and religion
10.5  On aggression among sport spectators
10.5.1  Causes for aggressive behavior
10.5.2  History of violence in spectator sport
11  Sport and mass communication
11.1  Communicator research
11.2  Content analysis
11.2.1  Content analysis of television sport
11.2.2  Content analysis of sport reporting in newspapers
11.2.3  Sport reporting and gender
11.3  Media research
11.4  Audience research
11.4.1  Audience research in the United Kingdom
11.4.2  Audience research in the USA
11.4.3  Audience research in Australia
11.4.4  Motives for consuming media sport
11.5  Impact research
11.5.1  Theory of the omnipotence of the media
11.5.2  Theory of the relative ineffectiveness of the media
12  Sport and the economy
12.1  Sport marketing and mass media
13  Sport and politics
13.1  The power of sport: A theoretical approach
13.2  Sport, social integration, and national self-representation
13.3  Sport as a means of strengthening a nation
13.4  Sport boycotts
13.5  Sport, globalization, and Olympism
The book was mainly written for students of sport science and/or sociology, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, but also for researchers, teachers/coaches, sport club functionaries and sport journalists.
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