In this book, Woodward demonstrates why sport matters and how, arguing that we should take sport seriously, and explore what is social about it. Sport is not just another domain to which social theories can be applied; it is also distinctive and generates new ways of thinking about social issues and debates. Sport is affected by the global economy and social, political and cultural processes – but it also shapes the wider social terrain of which it is part. Sport reproduces inequalities as well as offering opportunities. It is not always a level playing field. Sport is more than play.
Planet Sport is an engaging and concise introduction to some of the big issues in contemporary debates about sport in globalised societies, and will appeal to students, academics and general readers alike.
This book will be the first to use boxing as a vehicle for exploring social, cultural and political change in a global context. It will consider to what degree and in what ways boxing reflects social transformations, and whether and how it contributes to those transformations. In exploring the relationship it will provide new ways of thinking critically about the everyday.
Fully integrating historical, sociological, political and cultural analysis, the book covers every key topic in the study of sport and society, including:debate, interpretation and theory sport and the media sport and the body sport and politics commercialization globalization.
Retaining the accessibility and scholarly rigour for which Understanding Sport has always been renowned, this new edition includes entirely new chapters on global transformations, sports mega-events and sites, sporting bodies and governance, as well as a succinct guide to researching sport. With review and seminar questions included in every chapter, plus concise, helpful guides to further reading, Understanding Sport remains an essential textbook for all courses on sport and society, the sociology of sport, sport and social theory, or social issues in sport.
The book argues that the process of commercialization, directed by the IOC itself, has enabled audiences to interpret its traditional objects in non-reverential ways and to develop oppositional interpretations of Olympism. The Olympics have become multi-voiced and many themed, and the spectacle of the contemporary Games raises important questions about institutionalization, the doctrine of individualism, the advance of market capitalism, performance, consumption and the consolidation of global society.
With particular focus on the London Games in 2012, the book casts a critical eye over the bidding process, Olympic finance, promises of legacy and development, and the consequences of hosting the Games for the civil rights and liberties of those living in their shadow. Few studies have offered such close scrutiny of the inner workings of Olympism’s political and economic network, and, therefore, this book is indispensible reading for any student or researcher with an interest in the Olympics, sport's multiple impacts, or sporting mega-events.
- Geoffery Kohe, Worcester University
"This should be highly useful for any sports studies students who are encountering the sociology of sport for the first time, even those who have previously studied sociology."
- Alison Cain, Hertfordshire University
Sociology is central to the study of sport in higher education. This reader-friendly textbook introduces all of the subject’s core themes, such as power, diversity and mediation, and relates them to major contemporary social issues such as commercialisation and globalisation.
Special emphasis is given throughout to examples drawn from the UK and to the significance of the 2012 Olympics. Theoretical explanation is fully supported by case studies, practical and reflective exercises and guidance on further study.