Abstract submission deadline approaching | Sport and Discrimination | Friday 1 May 2015, University of Sunderland, London Campus

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Dr Daniel Burdsey, University of Brighton
  • Dr Jayne Caudwell, University of Brighton

Deadline for the submission of proposals: 1 December 2014

anti-racismPrime Minister David Cameron recently concluded a Downing Street summit on discrimination in football by saying: ‘If everyone plays their role, then we can easily crush and deal with this problem’.  Was this simply political spin, or a naïve assessment of the problem?

For as we write this, the Chief Executive of UK football’s Premier League is in the headlines for sending sexist emails. The case provides a stark and public reminder of how discrimination remains embedded in the heart of sport today.

Consider the facts:

  • More than two-thirds of women in football have experienced sexism in the workplace (Women in Football).
  • Only seven percent of women with disabilities exercise regularly or participate in sport (RightToPLay).
  • Seven out of 10 football fans have witnessed homophobic abuse (YouGov).
  • Hundreds of elite athletes are suffering depression in silence (Black Dog Institute).
  • African Americans face exclusion from Major League Baseball (MLB) due to socioeconomic constraints, among other barriers (Bailey and Shepherd 2011).
  • Racism towards indigenous Australians is almost a weekly occurrence in Aussie Rules Football (Klugman and Osmond 2013).

The Sport and Discrimination Conference 2015 will provide a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary examination of these issues. It aims to explore different forms of discrimination (abuse, stereotyping, prejudice, harassment, exclusion), across a range of sports, drawing on work from a variety of academic fields (including sociology, sports studies, psychology, politics, history, and media and cultural studies).

What is the nature and extent of discrimination in sport today?  How does it affect people’s experience of sport and their wider lives?  What are the barriers to change?  And how can discrimination best be tackled in the future?

We welcome proposals from academics, postgraduates and policy makers, who wish to present papers making empirical, theoretical or personal contributions. Proposals may approach the conference theme from a variety of perspectives, including:

  • Empirical findings about the nature and extent of discrimination in sport.
  • Research articulating the experiences of those who have suffered discrimination in sport.
  • Contributions adding to the theoretical understanding of sport and discrimination.
  • Policy recommendations for tackling and reducing discrimination in sport.

Proposals, for 20 minute presentations, should include title, abstract (250 words), the name and institutional affiliation of the presenter and a concise biography (100 words). The submission deadline is 1 December 2014.

The conference organisers plan to compile an edited book, titled Sport and Discrimination, from the best contributions to the conference and have an expression of interest from a leading academic publisher.  Please indicate with your submission whether you wish to be considered for inclusion in this publication.

All submissions and enquiries should be sent to: info.sportdiscrimination@sunderland.ac.uk and/or our new academic conference admin officer lianne.hopper@sunderland.ac.uk

The conference is hosted by the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, and organised by:

  • Dr John Price, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Sports Journalism, University of Sunderland
  • Dr Daniel Kilvington, Associate Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland
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