The future of sport? New anthology prophecies a technological revolution

    Sascha L. Schmidt’s edited collection 21st Century Sports: How Technologies Will Change Sports in the Digital Age (Springer) outlines the effects that technology-induced change will have on sport within the next five to ten years. A collective of sport sociologists at Nord University, Norway has read the book as a book group, bringing many various experiences and perspectives into a rich review highlighting the book’s strong points as well as its weaknesses, one of which is a paucity of critical perspectives throughout.

    Unpacking cultural diversity in sport management

    Cross-cultural management is an important facet of the globalized sport industry. Globalized Sport Management in Diverse Cultural Contexts, edited by James J. Zhang & Brenda G. Pitts (Routledge), brings together research on this issue from sport scholars around the world. Our reviewer is Derrick Charway, and he finds that the book does what it intended to, bud he would have liked an abstract for each chapter, and he points out that micro level analyses would have added important insights about cultural diversity in practice.

    “This is a book that should be read by all”

    In Only a Black Athlete Can Save Us Now (University of Minnesota Press), Grant Farred uses sport as a point of departure to argue that the dystopic crisis of our current moment offers a singular opportunity to reimagine how we live in the world. Duncan R. Jamieson was quite taken by Jarred's analysis and arguments, and concludes that his book should be read by all, but especially by those who see nothing wrong with the racism that has and continues to rear its ugly head.

    Maradona – hero, redeemer, martyr, god

    Diego Maradona: A Socio-Cultural Study, edited by Pablo Brescia & Mariano Paz (Routledge), looks at representations of Maradona across a wide variety of media, including literature, cinema, popular music, printed and online press, and radio. Russell Holden has read this first English-language Maradona study, and he is fascinated and delighted – as an academic, as a football fan, as a Maradona admirer. He also finds that the book offers a template for the study of other major historical sporting figures.

    Making Sense of Sport Economics

    Full of real-world cases and stories, Wray Vamplew’s Sports Economics for Non-Economists (Routledge) offers a short economic history of sport and explains the economic foundations of the world of sport today, from local leagues to mega-events. Sport sociologist Mads Skauge fits in the book’s target group, and his careful reading and thorough review shows that Vamplew fulfills his stated goal; Skauge himself is proof of this, and he recommends the book to his sport social science peers as well as to their students.

    Excellent sport psychology book for coaches, promoting best practice

    An effective coach must understand the fundamentals of sport psychology. Fully revised and updated, the third edition of Adam Nicholl’s Psychology in Sports Coaching: Theory and Practice (Routledge) clearly and accessibly introduces the principles and practice of sport psychology in the context of the coaching process. Stuart Carrington likes what he reads, and his review points out a number of quality features that will be appreciated by coaches since they relate to their everyday practical work with athletes.

    The impact of Covid-19 on sport – challenges, changes and lessons learned

    Andrew C. Billings, Lawrence A, Wenner & Marie Hardin’s edited collection American Sport in the Shadow of a Pandemic: Communicative Insights (Peter Lang Publishing) focuses on how communication practices, structures, and principles change when a key locus – sport – has much of its cultural and political-economic power disrupted. Britt-Marie Ringfjord’s review offers an accessible presentation of all the contributions. She found the book to be instructive and interesting as well as entertaining.

    Interesting empirical football history studies might have fared better in the hands of a...

    How did the world’s most popular sport begin? How was the ancient family of pastimes called «folk football» transformed into a new codified game – «association football»? Gavin Kitching tackles the question in A Fateful Love: Essays on Football in the North-East of England 1880–1930 (Peter Lang Publishing). Hans Bolling, experienced football historian, finds the book interesting but points out some historiographic problems therein, deriving from the fact that the author is not a trained historian.

    Reinterpreting the academic historiography of Irish sports history

    Serial winners and glorious losers, heroes and villains, trailblazing women, role models and rogues, all are here; so too are audacious sporting founders, enduring legends and forgotten or overlooked greats. Conor Curran has read about sixty Irish Sporting Lives selected by Terry Clavin & Turlough O’Riordan (Royal Irish Acdemy), and he found it generally entertaining throughout,, but then Dr. Curran is also an historian, and as such found much historiographic references and context wanting.

    English cricket – who gets to play is a question of class

    In examining recreational rather than professional (first-class) cricket, Duncan Stone’s Different Class: The Untold Story of English Cricket does not merely challenge the orthodoxy of English cricket, it demonstrates how the values and belief systems at its heart were developed to divide the English at every level of the game. Our reviewer, cricket commentator Daniel Norcross, likes the book, and especially Stone’s deep dive into the class war aspects of amateur or recreational cricket.
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