1st Edition

Ethnographies in Sport and Exercise Research

Edited By Gyozo Molnar, Laura Purdy Copyright 2016
    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    Ethnography has become an important method for researching and interpreting the social world, not least in the field of sport and exercise studies. Ethnographies in Sport and Exercise Research is the first book to provide a contemporary overview of the current state of ethnographic research and its application within sport and exercise, introducing and explaining a range of well-established and emerging ethnographic approaches.

    Featuring a heavyweight line-up of sport and exercise researchers, the book is divided into three parts. The first considers the methodological and theoretical aspects of ethnographic research, including:

    • a history of ethnography in sport and exercise research
    • the definition of the ethnographic field
    • methods of gathering ethnographic data
    • methods of representing ethnographic research.

    In the second part of the book, a series of chapter-length case studies, spanning sports from boxing to fell running and themes from gender to fandom, demonstrate the challenges and rewards of ethnographic research in the context of sport and exercise, helping students and researchers to develop a solid understanding of qualitative research at both a theoretical and a practical level. The final part of the book considers future directions for ethnographic research, including an evaluation of its place in the expanding field of study in sport management.

    A comprehensive assessment of the statement of ethnographic research in sport, Ethnographies in Sport and Exercise Research is invaluable reading for any research methods course taken as part of a degree programme in sport and exercise, and a useful reference for all active researchers.

    1. Introduction (Gyozo Molnar & Laura Purdy)  2. Ethnography in sport-related research: influences, continuities, possibilities (Carrie Dunn & John HughsonPart 1: Ethnography: methodological and theoretical considerations  3. Finding the Field: Ethnographic Research in Exercise Settings (Pirkko Markula)  4. Ethnography as a sensual way of being: Methodological and representational challenges (Andrew C. Sparkes)  5. Ethnographic creative non-fiction: Exploring the what’s, why’s and how’s (Brett Smith & Kerry R. McGannon & Toni L. WilliamsPart 2: Case Studies 6. Women’s lived experiences of health and ageing in physical activity (Meridith Griffin & Cassandra Phoenix)  7. Suffering and the Loneliness of the Fell Runner: An Ethnographic Foray (Michael Atkinson)  8. The boxer in the mirror: The ethnographic-self as a resource while conducting insider research among professional boxers (Alex Stewart)  9. Considering micropolitical (under)‘currents’: Reflections on fieldwork within an elite men’s rowing programme (Laura Purdy)  10. Reflecting on the ‘perils of ethnography’: A case study of football fan rivalry in Birmingham (Adam Benkwitz)  11. The legitimacy of ethnographic filming: Literary thoughts and practical realities (C. Edwards & R. L. Jones)  12. Traversing ontological dispositions: The intersection between remote Indigenous communities and elite urban-based men’s football organisation (Tim Butcher, Chris Hallinan & Barry JuddPart 3: Future considerations and directions  13. Walking the streets: The flâneur and the sociology of sport (Alan Bairner)  14. The marginal place of ethnographic research in sport management (John Harris)


    Gyozo Molnar is Senior Lecturer in Sport Studies in the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester, UK. His current publications and research revolve around migration, globalisation, national identity, the Olympics and sport-related role exit. His most current research, with Dr Yoko Kanemasu, has focused on the migratory aspects of Fiji rugby. He is co-editor (with Prof. Alan Bairner) of The Politics of the Olympics (2010, Routledge) and co-writer (with Dr John Kelly) of the Sport, Exercise and Social Theory: An introduction (2012, Routledge)

    Laura G. Purdy is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill University, UK. Her research interests lie in delving deeper into high performance/elite sporting cultures, focusing on the everyday realities of coaches and athletes/players. In doing so, she has utilised ethnographic methodologies and methods to explore the lived experiences of coaches and athletes/players in relation to the concepts of identity, power and interaction. In addition to disseminating her work via Sport, Education and Society and the Sociology of Sport Journal, she has contributed to rugby and basketball coaches’ CPD in a number of international settings

    ‘This book is great for sport-focused individuals in the academy who are new to ethnographic research, who want to have a deeper understanding of what ethnography is in general, and who would like to explore ethnography as a research-method option … it opens a door for students to be involved in a somewhat underutilized but valuable research technique’, Boyun Woo, International Journal of Sport Communication