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Assessing the sociology of sport: On controversies and scandals


Palmer, C, Assessing the sociology of sport: On controversies and scandals, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 50, (4-5) pp. 558-562. ISSN 1012-6902 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/1012690214539341


On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, Catherine Palmer, a wide-ranging scholar of sporting subcultures, examines one of more intriguing artifacts of sport in contemporary times: the inevitability of controversies and scandals. Palmer notes that the controversies, scandals and crimes that have become a regular feature of sport represent ‘empirical gold’ for sociological inquiry and cultural critique. While sporting scandals are most often ‘middle order moral events,’ their sociological analysis can lead to important changes in the governance of sport. Four key challenges in the ‘ecology of scandal’ in sport are identified and discussed: scandal susceptibility, polysemia, intertextuality and scandal hierarchy. It is argued that in the future, sociological inquiry will need to consider why it is that sports scandals are often presented in media and popular discourse with little critical reflection on specificity or context, given that such scandals can give rise to questions about a wider social logic which can help focus analyses of contemporary cultural politics that underpin sport.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sport, AFL, Australia, controversies, morality, scandals, sport
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Palmer, C (Professor Catherine Palmer)
ID Code:100294
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-05-09
Last Modified:2016-03-18

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