3rd Edition

Sport, Culture and Society
An introduction

ISBN 9781138917521
Published July 10, 2017 by Routledge
570 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations

USD $59.95

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Book Description

What can sport do to produce social change in our world today? It is impossible to fully understand contemporary society and culture without acknowledging the importance of sport. Sport is part of our social and cultural fabric, possessing a commercial power that makes it a potent force in the world, for good and for bad. It has helped to start wars and promote international reconciliation, and governments around the world commit public resources to sport.

Sport matters, but how should you make sense of what is going on in the world of sport today?

Now in a fully revised, updated and expanded third edition, this critical, challenging and comprehensive textbook introduces the study of sport, culture and society. International in scope, it challenges us to reactivate an audacious spirit of activism through sport. Full of contemporary examples, it places sport at the heart of the analysis and introduces the reader to every core topic and emerging area in the study of sport and society, including:

  • the history and politics of sport;
  • sport, gender and sexuality;
  • sport, disability and advocacy;
  • sport, race and racism;
  • sport, violence and crime;
  • sport and health;
  • sport, globalisation and democracy;
  • sport, media and cultural relations;
  • sport and the environment;
  • sporting cities and mega-events;
  • sport, poverty and development.

Each chapter includes a wealth of useful features, including Sport in Focus case studies, chapter summaries, guides to further reading, revision questions, practical projects, definitions of key concepts and weblinks. Additional teaching and learning resources – including a testbank, resource list and glossary – are available on a companion website.

Sport, Culture and Society is the most broad-ranging, in-depth and thoughtful introduction to the sociocultural analysis of sport currently available and sets a new agenda for the discipline. It is essential reading for all students with an interest in sport.

Table of Contents


PART I: The Broader Context

1. Sport, Theory and the Problem of Values

2. Sport, History and Social Change

3. Sport, Economics and Wealth

4. Sport, Development and Peace

5. Sport, Politics and Culture

PART II: Global Sport and Community

6. Global Sport in a Deglobalising World?

7. Sport, Law and Governance

8. Sport and Community

9. Internationalism, Reconciliation and Sport in the Making of Nations

10. Sport, Media and Technology

11. Sport, Social Capital and Civil Society

12. Sport and Education

PART III: Sport and Contemporary Social Issues

13. Sport and the Environment

14. Sport and Racism

15. Sport, Violence and Crime

16. Sport, Religion and Spirituality

17. Sport, Gender and Sexuality

18. Sport and Health

19. Sport and Disability

20. Sport, Cities, the Olympics and Major Sporting Events

21. Sport, Lifestyles and Alternatives

22. Sport, Gambling and Corruption

23. Sport, Poverty and Homelessness

PART IV: Sport as a Resource of Hope and the Politics of the Possible

24. Sport, Social Movements and Protest

25. Sport, Cultural Relations and Damned Nations

26. Sport, Human Rights and Public Action

27. Sport for Social Change

28. Sport, Advocacy the Public Intellectuals

Conclusion: Theses on Sport, Culture and Society


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Grant Jarvie is Professor and Founding Director of the Academy of Sport at the University of Edinburgh, UK

James Thornton is a marketing manager at London Business School, UK, and co-author of Sport, Culture and Society (2nd edition)

Hector Mackie is a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, Canada

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Grant  Jarvie

Grant Jarvie

Professor and Director, University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh , City of Edinburgh , Scotland, UK

Learn more about Grant Jarvie »


"Grant Jarvie is one of the most authoritative voices on sport and its wider role in international development and community cohesion." – Baroness Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, 2001-2007, Minister for the London Olympics and Paralympics, 2009-2010, UK

"Sport, Culture and Society endures as the seminal, inter-disciplinary work on the role sport has, does, and should play in domestic and international affairs. Now in its 3rd iteration, the book is beautifully written, deeply researched and organised in a highly logical manner. The new case studies, which validate robust and time-tested theories, demonstrate that Jarvie and his opus remain as the world’s leading sources on all matters sport." Stuart Murray, Associate Professor of International Relations and Diplomacy, Bond University, Australia

"I have always considered Grant Jarvie’s Sport, Culture and Society one of the most insightful, comprehensive, and readable accounts of the dynamic place of sports in the contemporary world order. He’s done even better in this significantly enlarged and updated 3rd edition. It’s organized within a coherent theoretical lens, rich in examples drawn from every part of the world, and persuasively argued. What I particularly appreciate is his commitment to social justice, and his advice on how sports and sportspeople can either enable or undermine progressive social change." – Bruce Kidd, Vice President and Principal, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada

Support Material

Companion Website

Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.