‘A refreshingly critical contribution to the major debates in sports studies, this volume will nicely complement the conventional texts. The entries are well structured, introducing and explaining the arguments, and then applying them to current sports policies and controversies. I admire the material and will recommend it to my students’ — Professor Dave Harris, University College Plymouth, Marjon

Written by experienced academics use to teaching the subject, this book will help students and researchers find their way within the diverse field of sport studies. Clear, well researched entries explain the key concepts in the debates surrounding the social significance and social dynamics of sport. Each entry provides:

  • Clear Definitions
  • Relevant Examples
  • Up-to-date Suggestions for Further Reading
  • Informative Cross-Referencing

Valuable in its parts and indispensable as a whole, this book will provide a stimulating, practical guide to the relationship between sport and society.



‘Ideology’ is an important word in the vocabulary of political and social commentators and first entered this vocabulary around the time of the French Revolution of 1789. It has two principal meanings.

Firstly, it can describe a particular set of attitudes, beliefs or views of the world. These might attach to, and help to define, a particular social group – for example, a class, a gender group, a political movement or a nation. Examples here might include ‘communist ideology’, ‘Thatcherism’, sexism and racism. In the world of sport, similarly, there have been many ideologies: ‘Muscular Christianity’, amateurism and Olympism among them.

Secondly, ‘ideology’ can refer to ideas which are regarded as false or distorted and which, thus, work to mask social, economic or political interests. So, ...

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