‘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.



This word is a deceptively flexible one, with a diversity of different meanings in the social sciences. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology (Abercrombie et al., 2000: 83) identifies six discrete interpretations of the term, four of which can serve as a framework for relating the concept to sport.

First, ‘culture’ can be seen to refer to every aspect of human behaviour that is not derived from biology – that is, in other words, learned. The standard contention of sociologists (and others) is, of course, that most human behaviour is rooted in culture and not in biology and, to a significant degree, they may be thought to have won this argument. That's to say, whereas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a majority of scientists ...

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