Introduction to Part One

Authored by: Richard Giulianotti

Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Sport

Print publication date:  August  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415829731
eBook ISBN: 9780203404065
Adobe ISBN: 9781134116621


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In Part One of this Handbook, our attention turns to how social theories are utilized by sociologists of sport. In broad terms, social theories enable sociologists and other social scientists to research and explain sport and other fields of social life. These theories may be understood and used in different ways by sociologists. Relatively ‘objectivist’ or scientific approaches argue that social theories should consist of a systematic arrangement of specific premises or propositions about the social world; these theories should be fully testable, and should enable social scientists to make specific predictions on future social actions, developments or trends. A second set of approaches is much less stringent and rather more sociological. Here, social theories are understood to include those conceptual approaches or sets of arguments which have been widely applied by social scientists to study diverse social issues over a significant period of time (cf. Ritzer 1996: 4).

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