• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This vital new handbook marks the development of sports studies as a major new discipline within the social sciences. Edited by the leading sociologist of sport, Eric Dunning, and author of the best selling textbook on sport in the USA, Jay Coakley, it both reflects and richly endorses this new found status. Key aspects of the Handbook include: an inventory of the principal achievements in the field; a guide to the chief conflicts and difficulties in the theory and research process; a rallying point for researchers who are established or new to the field, which sets the agenda for future developments; a resource book for teachers who wish to establish new curricula and develop courses and programmes in the area of sports s

Australia and New Zealand1
Australia and New Zealand1

In spite of the ‘supposed’ predominance and at least ‘lay’ acceptance of the importance of sport in the cultures of both countries, serious academic study of sport in Australia and New Zealand has been limited, most particularly up until the mid-1980s. Despite sport having been pointed to as a significant site for ‘quests for identity’ (albeit male dominated and based on invented or selected traditions, symbols, myths and nostalgia), ‘mainstream’ historians and sociologists within the region have shown comparatively little interest in sport in society as a subject of serious academic enquiry.2

Theoretically, early studies tended to be dominated by forms of structural-functionalism—not surprisingly given its orthodoxy in mainstream sociology up until at least the 1960s and early 1970s. This ...

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