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Assessing the Sociology of Sport: On the Trajectory, Challenges, and Future of the Field

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-362
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Early online date8 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


On the fiftieth anniversary of the International Sociology of Sport Association and the International
Review for the Sociology of Sport, the three guest editors for this special fiftieth anniversary issue
of the IRSS, current ISSA president, Elizabeth CJ Pike, the immediate past president, Steven J
Jackson, and current IRSS editor, Lawrence A Wenner, introduce the issue’s genesis and theme:
‘50@50: Assessing the trajectory and challenges of the sociology of sport’. In considering the
trajectory of the sociology of sport, the ISSA and the IRSS, they reflect on the early development
of the field and the founding of an international association and journal aimed at understanding
sport in the social and cultural dynamic; they note early and ongoing challenges concerning the
academic seating of the field, its legitimacy and impact, and its engagement with the public sphere
and the ‘sociological imagination’. Speaking to the challenges of fashioning a special issue to
represent the breadth of 50 years of the sociology of sport, the editors outline how a ‘50@50’
strategy was implemented to bring perspectives from 50 notable scholars and to ensure that a
diversity of voices was heard, not only on a range of themes, theories and methods, but from
diverse identities and locales. Addressing two overarching challenges – the global dominance of
English as the lingua franca of scholarly discourse and the need to advance interdisciplinarity and
engagement with scholars beyond the sociology of sport – will be key to broadening dialogue to
help ensure the future sustainability and progress of the sociology of sport.


This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of the following article: Elizabeth C. J. Pike, Steven J. Jackson, and Lawrence A. Wenner, 'Assessing the sociology of sport: On the trajectory, challenges, and future of the field'. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Vol. 50 (4-5), May 2015, doi:, published by SAGE Publishing, All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2015.

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