Call for Papers | Frontiers Research Topic: “Thinking and Doing Intersectionality in Sociology of Sport” | Call ends September 30, 2021

About this Research Topic

Intersectionality has become a defining paradigm for critical feminist scholarship. Rooted in Black Feminism, it recognizes the interlocking and mutually constitutive character of salient systems of difference and inequality, such as gender, race, class, sexuality, nationality, disability, which together form a “matrix of domination” (Collins, 1990). While intersectionality has become a “buzzword” for feminist scholars and activists (Davis, 2008), it has also attracted criticism and debate. There are unresolved questions concerning how it can be conceptualized (Choo & Ferree, 2010), operationalized in sociological research (McCall, 2005; Strid, Walby, and Armstrong, 2013), and put to practical use beyond the academy (Cho, Crenshaw, & McCall, 2013). So, too, are scholars and activists questioning whether intersectionality has been overly “commodified” and “appropriated” by white feminisms and disconnected from its radical origins (Nash, 2019). In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its intersectional impacts, as well as the recent intensification of activism and protest related to racialized and gendered injustices, the moment is ripe to revisit and reflect on the concept of intersectionality, including within the field of sociology of sport.

While sport clearly lends itself to intersectional analysis (Carter-Francique, 2017), to date there has not been a systematic effort to consider where and how the concept of intersectionality fits within the sociology of sport as a discipline. It is precisely this project that this Research topic invites. Taking up the three key axes that have organized intersectionality scholarship to date––theory, methods, and practice––we ask: How has intersectional theorizing and analysis figured within sociology of sport to date? What explanatory power does it offer as a framework for investigating power and inequality in sport, and what are its limitations? How might its application in the context of sport advance sociological approaches to intersectionality as a methodology? Critically, via what practices might intersectional empowerment be realized in sport? What does activism for––and the organization of––intersectional justice in sport look like? Given the breadth of issues, research sites, and theoretical paradigms taken up to date within sociology of sport, we suggest that the discipline offers an ideal setting in which to unpack the complexity of intersectional processes and politics. We suggest further that the current moment is ripe for such an intervention: from the impacts of the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements, to the uneven effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sporting world, intersectional analyses are needed to address the pressing inequalities that continue to characterize sport and animate the field.

We invite diverse theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions, including but not limited to those that address the following:

      • Opportunities and challenges to the use of intersectionality in the field of sociology of sport
      • Engagement with intersectionality from a feminist, critical race, postcolonial, indigenous, queer, and/or disability perspective
      • Mechanisms of intersectional exclusion, power, and invisibility within structures of sports governance, sports media, and sports economies
      • Intersectionality as a practical and political project in sport
      • The role of activism within organizational and institutional change
      • Intersectional dynamics at the grassroots and community sport level
      • Forms of allyship in sport
      • Cultural approaches to intersectionality
      • Intersectional approaches to violence and exploitation in sport
      • Intersectional perspectives on resistance and collective action in sport
      • Methodological challenges to studying sport from an intersectional perspective
      • Practical implications of intersectionality and best practice and policy efforts within the field of sport or sporting institutions and organizations
      • New approaches designed to promote intersectionality in sports sociology

We are encouraging contributors to view this as a unique opportunity to create a collection that is accessible and relevant to practitioners in sport. Collaborations between scholars and practitioners to share practice/policy insights would be particularly welcome.

Please follow this link to all accepted article types.


intersectionality, sport, theory, methods, practice

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

      • 30 September 2021 | Abstract
      • 31 March 2022 | Manuscript

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