Sports tribes and academic identity: teaching the sociology of sport in a changing disciplinary landscape
- Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Using data from 15 semi-structured interviews with UK-based early/mid-career academics, this paper offers an empirically informed assessment of how lecturers teaching/researching the sociology of sport are managing their careers in a changing higher education landscape. Those interviewed were involved in the delivery of sociological content to a range of sports-themed courses with the interviews focusing on the changing fashions in studying sport (including a rapid increase in enrolment on certain sports-themed courses), and on the nature of the relationships with colleagues working in the same area (i.e. sport), but who teach/research it from a different discipline. The paper draws upon the processes of individualisation which lay at the root of reflexive modernisation to better understand the lived experiences of those interviewed. Using the metaphors of tribes, doors and boundaries, I assess the extent to which those interviewed felt there were opportunities for an interdisciplinary pedagogic approach to ‘sport’. The paper explores the relationship between the sociology of sport and its parent discipline (i.e. sociology) and where it might feature in a future (post-disciplinary?) landscape.
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