A thought-provoking, and detailed statistical case study of the development and popularity of women’s...

    One of the world’s greatest sports, football, and one of the leading nations in that sport when it’s played by women, Germany, are in focus in Henk Erik Meier’s new book The Development of Women’s Soccer: Legacies, Participation, and Popularity in Germany (Routledge). Our reviewer is Jean Williams, who knows a bit about women’s football, and she finds Meier’s study a book to dip into, on repeated readings.

    Important, award-winning contribution to the literature on Indigenous sports in society

    Winner of the North American Society for Sports History book prize 2021, Janice Forsyth’s Reclaiming Tom Longboat: Indigenous Self-Determination in Canadian Sport (University of Regina Press) digs deep into the history of Indigenous sports in Canada, with special focus on Tom Longboat and the eponymous award. Our reviewer is Malcolm MacLean, and he concludes his review by recommending the book to scholars, practitioners, and activists in and beyond the lands claimed by Canada.

    Fantasy sport: It’s a man-boy-stats-geek-jock’s world

    While not such a big deal in Scandinavia, Fantasy Sport is very much so in the US and Canada, with 10% of the population playing and an industry turnover of $7.2 billion. Unsurprisingly it’s very much a man’s world, which makes Rebecca Joyce Kissane & Sarah Winslow’s Whose Game? Gender and Power in Fantasy Sports (Temple University Press) such a timely addition to the literature. But according to our reviewer Richard Tacon it is much more than that, it also offers an excellent introduction to the complex issue of gender and sport.

    Engaging and well researched analysis of sport and power in American culture

    In the US, sports are sold as an oasis of community to a nation deeply divided. In his 2019 book The Power of Sports: Media and Spectacle in American Culture (New York University Press), Michael Serazio, a member of the Department of Communication at Boston College and an award-winning journalist, maps and critiques the cultural production of today’s lucrative, ubiquitous sports landscape. Our reviewer is Steph Doehler, and she finds his work both readable and important.

    Social sporting innovations from Hogwarts to Bruges

    With her new anthology, Social Innovation in Sport (Palgrave Macmillan), Anne Tjönndal aims at providing fresh insights on how social innovations are utilized as strategies to make sport more accessible and inclusive. Our reviewer Alan Bairner is doubtful however, seeing sport’s adaptability to change as more often than not driven by market logics, since sport, he claims, is inherently conservative, reactionary even, in its refusal to change its core values and renew its traditional hierarchies.

    Useful tool for practitioners working with athletes experiencing mental health issues

    Mental health issues among elite sports performers are finally being talked about quite openly; Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka are the latest examples. Mental illness is indeed a thorny issue, and it is being thoroughly scrutinized from the sociological perspective in Michael Atkinson’s edited volume Sport, Mental Illness, and Sociology (Emerald Publishing) by a number of leading sport sociological scholars. Our reviewer Frida Wågan has read an important contribution to the field.

    The anti-Olympic resistance movement

    While the Tokyo Olympics is in full (well…) swing, maybe it’s time to study Nolympcs. Jens Ljunggren has read two books with a Games-critical perspective, NOlympians: Inside the Fight Against Capitalist Mega-Sports in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Beyond by Jules Boykoff, and NOlympics: Tokyo 2020/1 in der Kritik, editid by Steffi Richter, Andreas Singler & Dorothea Mladenova. Our reviewer points out the obvious risks involved when activists research their own movement and write its history.

    A philosophical look at the multifaceted phenomenon of surfing

    Daniel Brennan is an assistant professor of philosophy at Bond University, Australia, as well as an experienced surfer, and he has authored a book that brings these two fields together, Surfing and the Philosophy of Sport (Lexington Books). Gunnar Breivik, our reviewer of his book, is a professor of philosophy at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences but, he reveals, not a surfer. He likes Brennan’s book; it offers many interesting insights into the complex phenomenon of surfing.

    A rewarding reading for sport scholars about critical research on sex, gender and sexuality...

    Sex, gender and sexuality have played an important role in shaping the culture of surfing and are central themes in lisahunter’s edited volume on surfing’s symbolism, postcolonialism, patriocolonial whiteness and heteronormativity. Surfing, Sex, Genders and Sexualities (Routledge) is highly appreciated by our reviewer Anna Adlwarth for its critical approach that uncovers disturbing aspects of the surfing culture as well as that of other lifestyle sports.

    Sport Docs on the Box

    Sport documentaries are gaining ground with production companies, directors, distributors and audiences, and the genre is now also subjected to scholarly engagement of which Sporting Realities: Critical Readings of the Sports Documentary, edited by Samantha N. Sheppard & Travis Vogan (University of Nebraska Press), is a result. Our reviewer Garry Whannel knows this field well, and his knowledgeable review is highly readable, as is the book – although limited by its dominating US perspective.
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