1st Edition

Great Expectations
The Sociology of Survival and Success in Organized Team Sports

ISBN 9781138488960
Published May 22, 2018 by Routledge
318 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

USD $52.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In Great Expectations: The Sociology of Survival and Success in Organized Team Sports, sociological analysis proves to be a powerful ally for grasping how the sports world unfolds for team players, providing a range of sociological ideas and concepts that extend throughout the book. The text boxes and class discussion sections help summarize key issues, linking important sociological concepts to the topics at hand. The eight chapters begin with an introduction and then detail athletes’ activities at different stages in their development.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: Elite Team Athletes in Sociological Perspective; Chapter 2: In the Beginning: Youth Athletes' Socialization to Team Sports; Chapter 3: The Sometimes Disruptive Adolescent Sports World; Chapter 4: Elite Athletes in Progress: College and Minor-league Programs; Chapter 5: The Big Four Major Leagues: Play at the Competitive Pinnacle; Chapter 6: Maringal Pro Leagues; Chapter 7: Stars Who Weren't Suppsoed to Make It; Chapter 8: Minimizing the Mania

View More



Christopher B. Doob is professor emeritus of sociology at Southern Connecticut State University. His published works include Sociology: An Introduction, 6th Edition (Harcourt Press 1999); Social Inequality and Social Stratification in U.S. Society (Routledge 2012); Race, Ethnicity, and the Urban American Mainstream (Pearson 2004); and Racism: An American Cauldron, 3rd Edition (Pearson 1998), the second edition of which received a Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights. In addition, Doob has been active in his community, serving as coordinator for the Southern Connecticut State University’s Urban Initiatives, which established math tutoring classes for inner-city children. He has also participated in the struggle for welfare rights and been a long-time volunteer in two local adult-education programs.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Christopher Bates Doob

Christopher Bates Doob

Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Southern Connecticut State University
WOODBRIDGE, CT, United States

Learn more about Christopher Bates Doob »


In Great Expectations, Christopher Doob provides a well-written overview of the structural and social dynamics in organized team sports. The focus of this text is on providing accessible analysis of sports participation at various levels. The text draws from numerous sources and makes excellent use of case studies and detailed stories about athletes to illustrate the concepts being discussed.  For the sociological reader, this book provides rich examples of concepts often discussed in sociology of sports classes… [and] address[es] contemporary topics of debate within the public domain and can thus provide fodder for class discussions on those topics. Gretchen Peterson, American Journal of Sociology (2020)

Great Expectations provides important insight into the historical, cultural, and contextual influences that have shaped contemporary sports programs in North America. Christopher B. Doob offers excellent insight into the journeys of elite athletes in modern American sports, beginning from organized activities for children and continuing to the professional ranks. Given the different case studies, photos, and detailed references...Great Expectations could be used as a supplemental for upper-level undergraduate and graduate classes in a sport management curriculum. Emma S. Ariyo, Journal of Sport Management (2019

In his new book, Doob has examined team athletes in the United States from various sociological perspectives—from youth sports to the most outstanding elite. Each chapter concludes with summary and class discussion issues plus an abundance of references….Thus, the book is commendably pedagogical… [its] content has both breadth and depth and you gain an increased insight into American team sports. Anders Östnäs, Lund University, idrottsforum.org