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This comprehensive collection examines the culture of sport and its relationship with various social institutions. The editors first provide a broad overview of the field and describe the ways in which the concept of sport as a meritocratic contest is undermined by the powerful social structures within which it is embedded. Sections focus on political economy, violence, the media, education, politics, fans and community, and the body. Primary readings from noted scholars in each section address current issues such as the presence of big-time sports in educational institutions; the effects of corporate media; race and class relations; professional athletes ties to politics; and how sports alter perceptions and practices regarding beauty and health. In addition, entertaining and provocative essays from journalists supplement academic readings and spotlight key issues. Section introductions from the editors connect the readings to a theoretical framework that explores the perspectives of new institutionalism, cultural hegemony, social capital, and symbolic interaction and cultural construction.
Providing a cohesive foundation for a wide range of readings, Sport, Power, and Society is a must-have resource for understanding the current issues and debates surrounding the interactions of sport and society.
Robert E. Washington is professor of sociology and Africana studies at Bryn Mawr College.David Karen is professor of sociology at Bryn Mawr College.