Call for Papers | Sport, Physical Culture, and the Environment | Special Issue of Sociology of Sport Journal

Guest Editors: Kyle Bunds and Jonathan Casper


The “environment”, as a “complex system of physical, chemical, and biotic factors that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form of survival”, changes by both naturally (e.g. volcanic eruptions, glaciation, etc.) and non- naturally (e.g. manmade alterations) occurring circumstances (Johnson et al., 1997).  In the last decade especially, there has been increased public debate if not outcry from scientists, politicians, parochial vicars, and everyday citizens on the human impacts of altering the natural environment, especially in terms of global warming, fracking, and water crises.

The sporting domain has not been immune to these debates. In recent years, we have witnessed Detroit prioritize stadium and entertainment district development over  people in need of water; golf courses over fertilizing their property without regard for the local ecology, and global warming altering the way we engage in sport. Thus, it is not surprising that conversations over the relationship between sport and the environment have become widespread in many areas related to business, science, and government.

This we have seen most notably with the National Resource Defense Council’s (NRDC) focus on sport and environmental sustainability, as well as the formation of the Green Sport Alliance in 2011, which brings together industry stakeholders from eight major league sports, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, facility managers, marketing directors, and other sports leaders to learn best practices and innovations in green operations, fan engagement, and so forth. Same, too, for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf, which offers scholarships and training for golf course managers, scientists, tourism specialists, and conservationists, and charitable organizations such as Run for Water, which utilizes sporting events and branding as part of its mission to provide clean drinking water to those in the Global South. Notably absent from the above examples, however, is that these organizations rarely mention the sociological importance of these environmental issues, nor are (sport) sociologists frequently privileged in such spaces or scholarly discussions (with some notable exceptions, e.g., Hayes & Karamichas, 2012; Millington & Wilson, 2013; Mincyte, Casper, & Cole, 2009; Perkins, Mincyte, & Cole, 2010; Wilson & Millington, 2015).

This special issue of the Sociology of Sport Journal thus seeks contributions  that critically examine, debate, and shed light on the intersection of sport, physical culture, and the environment. We are especially interested in critical, empirical and theoretical manuscripts focusing on issues related to:

  • The political ecology of sport and the environment
  • The body, health, and the environment
  • The biopolitics of climate change and environmental policy
  • Critical examinations of “green” technology and “green” marketing
  • Sport, environmental justice, and social movements
  • Leisure, recreation, and the politics of the environment
  • How sport organizations and public policy impact the built environment
  • The adoption of ecologically friendly practices (e.g. Golf course ecology, LEED certified arenas, etc.)
  • Sport organizations and pro-environmental behavioral change
  • How global warming alters the way people participate in sport and physical activity

Authors should follow the “Submission Guidelines for Authors” used in every issue of the Sociology of Sport Journal found at

All papers should be no more than 8,000 words including endnotes and reference list. Submit original manuscripts online:

Please address any questions to the co-editors, Dr. Kyle Bunds ( and Dr. Jonathan Casper (

Submission Deadline: April 1, 2016

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