Welcome to the first post from this week! We begin by introducing an important collection on the sociology of sport.
Sport and Social Identities
(edited by John Harris and Andrew Parker)
Andrew has kindly allowed us to post the Introduction to his chapter in the book (thanks!):
`The chapter is entitled: ‘Sport, Celebrity and Identity: A socio-legal analysis’ and looks at the way in which the English legal system deals with the image rights of celebrity sports personnel. This is a relatively new debate in the sociology of sport and one which is extremely topical given current legal wranglings over privacy issues and celebrity sports stars. Below is the introductory section to the chapter:’
Sociological analyses of sport and the law are notoriously difficult to find
and, some would argue, urgently needed. Conversely, the theme of sporting
celebrity has attracted significant attention in recent times both from
social scientists and legal practitioners alike. Evident amidst this
literature is the sense that sports stars represent a key site through which
social, economic and legal change can be observed. Adopting a socio-legal
perspective, this chapter assesses the extent to which current English law
protects the rights of sporting celebrities amidst a rapidly changing social
context. The central thesis is that whilst sports personalities can look to
the law for protection in relation to their identities, the information upon
which such legal decisions are based might be further enhanced by a
consideration of wider social factors.
Read more about this book on the publisher’s website .
Andrew Parker is Professor of Sport and Christian Outreach at the University of Gloucestershire and founding Director of the University’s Centre for Sport, Spirituality and Religion. He was previously at the University of Warwick and was the Director of the Warwick Centre for the Study of Sport in Society (WCSSS). His research interests include sport and social identity, sport and spirituality, physical activity and schooling, and gender relations. In February 2009 Andrew delivered his inaugural lecture entitled: ‘Sport and Religion: Past, Present and Future’. To listen to the lecture please see the relevant link at the following page: http://www.glos.ac.uk/research/Pages/lectures.aspx .
Dr John Harris is Associate Professor in the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport at Kent State University, USA. He has published work on women’s soccer and the gendered (re)presentation of athletes in the print media. Current research includes work on rugby and national identity in Wales, and the cultural politics of sporting celebrity.