Call for Papers | Frontiers Research Topic: “Sport and Community”. Call ends May 31, 2021


About this Research Topic

The sport-community relationship is a tenuous, yet somewhat ubiquitous idea. Sport is often described (in academic, policy, and public discourse) as an avenue for developing pride, civic engagement, tourism and economic development, social inclusion, social capital, and a host of other social outcomes. However, these claims are often either speculative, unsubstantiated, or poorly understood. Indeed, the advent of sport as a cultural signifier may be a symptom of ever-increasing focus on individualism and market-oriented thinking of neoliberal policy agendas and globalization – processes which have undeniably changed public perceptions of community and commitments to any sort of common good. Further, as sport is developed, accessed, and consumed in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, its relationship to community is shaped by varying policies and politics in different national contexts. Therefore, mapping the sport-community relationship is a complex and difficult task which requires an interdisciplinary approach to highlight the various social, cultural, political, and managerial implications.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to provide an interdisciplinary and holistic exploration of the sport-community relationship through empirical, theoretical, and methodological contributions. We aim to advance the discussion in several ways. Firstly, by engaging perspectives from diverse disciplines such as, sociology, anthropology, political science, leisure studies, and sport management, we will highlight diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding community and its relationship to/with sport. Second, by engaging research conducted in a variety of international community contexts, we aim to provide rich contextual discussions about different sport(s) and community(ies). Third, we encourage both studies that illustrate the sport-community connection as well as those that critique assumptions about this relationship. Cumulatively, these diverse perspectives will provide a critical, contextual, and rich exploration of the sport-community relationship in order to stimulate future discussions across disciplines.

For this Research Topic, we welcome submissions employing a range of disciplinary, methodological, and theoretical approaches. We define sport broadly and would welcome work in competitive, recreational, leisure and physical activity contexts and these submissions should explicitly address the relationship between sport and community. That is, work should engage in some way beyond individuals and explore ideas of community, authenticity, relationships, context, place, collectivity, inclusion, belonging, social justice, or a common good. We recognize that work from a variety of socio-cultural contexts may result in a range of other possibilities – all of which are also welcome and strongly encouraged. We welcome authors to submit original research, conceptual analyses, systematic reviews, policy briefs, and brief research reports for this Research Topic. Research themes may include (but are not limited to):

      • Community development, social inclusion, civic engagement, volunteerism
      • Communitarianism, collectivity, the common good
      • Sport fandom, communitas, social capital,
      • Community engagement and corporate social responsibility
      • Community and/or organizational capacity building
      • Marginalization, oppression, and social justice
      • Social inequality, mobilization, resistance, social movements
      • Gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, geography
      • Policy analysis, implementation
      • (Anti)Globalization, hybridity, diaspora
      • Post/Anti/De-colonial analyses or Indigenous methodologies
      • Sport for social change, social development,
      • Sporting utopias, dystopias, or the futurology of sport in communities
      • Historical analyses of particular sporting communities and/or the role of community in/for sport


community, development, social change, inclusion, identity

Topic Editors

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Submission Deadlines

      • 31 May 2021 | Abstract
      • 29 October 2021 | Manuscript

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