Sport, Exercise and Social Theory: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sport, Exercise and Social Theory

An Introduction, 1st Edition

By Gyozo Molnar, John Kelly


280 pages

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  • Why are sport and exercise important?
  • What can the study of sport and exercise tell us about wider society?
  • Who holds the power in creating contemporary sport and exercise discourses?

It is impossible to properly understand the role that sport and exercise play in contemporary society without knowing a little social theory. It is social theory that provides the vocabulary for our study of society, that helps us ask the right critical questions and that encourages us to look for the (real) story behind sport and exercise.

Sport, Exercise and Social Theory is a concise and engaging introduction to the key theories that underpin the study of sport, exercise and society, including feminism, post-modernism, (Neo-)Marxism and the sociological imagination. Using vivid examples and descriptions of sport-related events and exercise practices, the book explains why social theories are important as well as how to use them, giving students the tools to navigate with confidence through any course in the sociology of sport and exercise.

This book shows how theory can be used to debunk many of our traditional assumptions about sport and exercise and how they can be a useful window through which to observe wider society. Designed to be used by students who have never studied sociology before, and including a whole chapter on the practical application of social theory to their own study, it provides training in critical thinking and helps students to develop intellectual skills which will serve them throughout their professional and personal lives.


"The authors of this text relate a number of different sociological perspectives (e.g., Marxist, Feminist) to sport and exercise settings. Each chapter provides a clear and easy to understand outline of each perspective and then brings in a range of sport and exercise issues and discusses them through each perspective’s lens. It fills a niche in the market as other contemporary texts are either written in terms of the theorist, or in an individual case study format. This perspective-driven text provides a different angle to the discipline."Dr Paul Dancy

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. C. Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination 3. Functionalist Perspectives 4. Marxist Perspectives 5. Cultural Studies Perspectives 6. Symbolic Interaction Perspectives 7. Process-Sociology: The Civilising Process 8. Feminist Perspectives 9. Post-modern Perspectives 10. A Guide to the Craft of Sociology

About the Authors

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, football, globalization, national identity, the Olympics and sport-related role exit.

John Kelly is Lecturer in Sport and Recreation Business Management in theMoray House School of Education at Edinburgh University, UK. His research interests revolve around ethnicity, sectarianism, nationalism, militarism and sport.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports