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Sport: A Critical Sociology, 2nd Edition

Sport: A Critical Sociology, 2nd Edition

Richard Giulianotti

ISBN: 978-0-745-66992-2 December 2015 Polity 296 Pages


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In this new edition of his acclaimed book, Richard Giulianotti provides a critical sociological interpretation of modern sport. As global festivals such as the Olympic Games and football’s World Cup demonstrate, sport’s social, political, economic and cultural significance is becoming ever more apparent across the world.

Ten years after its original publication, the text has been completely revised and updated to cover the most recent literature and to tackle the key contemporary issues of sport and society. Chapter by chapter, Giulianotti offers a cogent examination of widely taught sociological theories and topics that relate to sport, skilfully weaving together theory and examples. These include functionalism, Weberian sociology, Marxism and postmodern sociology, along with ethnicity, gender and globalization. Using an international range of case studies and research regarding a wide variety of sports, the new edition has furthered its commitment to making this important material especially accessible to undergraduate readers.

Sport: A Critical Sociology
remains the best sociological introduction to sport for upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students on courses such as sport and leisure studies, cultural studies, and modern social theory.

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1. Functionalist Theories of Sport: Constructing Social Orders, Solidarities and Systems
2. Weberian and Microsociological Approaches to Sport: Interpreting Meanings, Identities and Rationalization
3. Marxist and Neo-Marxist Theories of Sport: Challenging Capitalism, Alienation and Class Conflict
4. Cultural Studies Approaches to Sport: Contesting Domination and Celebrating Resistance
5. ‘Race’ and Ethnicity in Sport: Competing against Racism and Intolerance
6. Gender and Sexuality in Sport: Playing Against Patriarchy
7. The Body in Sport: Embodying Discipline, Experience and Risk
8. Sporting Places and Spaces: Fields of Affection, Commerce and Fantasy
9. Elias on Sport: Figurations, Civilization and Interdependence
10. Bourdieu on Sport: Domination, Distinction and the Public Intellectual
11. Postmodern Sport: Fragmentation, Consumption and Hyperreality
12. Globalization and Sport: Political Economy, Cultural Creativity and Social Development
Epilogue: Towards A Critical Sociology of Sport
  • Updated in regard to key arguments and issues in the contemporary sociology of sport.
  • Updated with contemporary issues in sport and recent examples and events, such as the latest Olympics and World Cup.
  • Draws on a much wider range of international/cross-cultural illustrations.
  • Substantial rewriting in order to make the text more accessible to a wider student audience, and inclusion of pedagogical features.

"Richard Giulianotti is one of the world’s leading sport sociologists. In this new edition he once again proves that he is not only a very accomplished expert in the field but also a brilliant writer. The book provides an insightful overview of important sociological theories and their application to relevant phenomena of modern sport. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in sport and cultural studies or social scientific studies of sports."
Ansgar Thiel, University of Tübingen, Germany

"Rigorous and clearly organized, this second edition stands out among the many introductory texts to sport sociology. Giulianotti’s critical sociological perspective is embedded in a solid discussion of social theory and pays close attention to the multiple meanings that individuals’ everyday actions bring to sport. The book inspires much-needed critical reflection on power inequalities in sport while exploring alternative forms of sporting practice. It is an essential text for any reader interested in understanding the complexities of contemporary sport."
Pirkko Markula, University of Alberta, Canada