The social construction of the sociology of sport: a professional project

2015-09-25T12:33:32Z (GMT) by Dominic Malcolm
This paper presents a historical sociological analysis of the sociology of sport. It draws on theoretical insights from the sociology of professions to examine ‘state-of-the-field’ reviews written by sociologists of sport. The paper argues that in establishing why the sociology of sport emerged, how people identified its earliest manifestations, and how the subdiscipline’s boundaries were drawn, the political dynamics and consequences of the social construction of the field become apparent. This social construction is conceived of as a ‘professional project’ through which a knowledge domain, and this group’s authoritative status, was established. Sociologists of sport sought to validate their professional project through appeals to the sociological ‘mainstream’ and the correlative distancing from physical education. These reviews consistently obscure this professional project and portray a lineage that is logical, inevitable and consensual.