Interpretive Approaches in the Sociology of Sport

Authored by: Peter Donnelly , Michael Atkinson

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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Writing at the end of the twentieth century, Donnelly noted that ‘interpretive sociology has recently come to be what many consider the predominant approach in the sociology of sport’ (2000: 85). The last 15 years have only served to confirm that impression. In this chapter, we locate interpretive sociology within the larger field of sociology, and then focus on the two main expressions of interpretive sociology in the sociology of sport: hermeneutic analyses and ethnographic analyses. An examination of the range of work and insights that resulted from these overlapping ways of studying sport is followed by a note of caution regarding the forms of analysis, and some suggestions regarding future research and analysis.

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