Sociology of sport as a diverse and inclusive community

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Lone Friis Thing
Department of Sport and Social Sciences, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences


This paper explores various perspectives within the sociology of sport in a European context, critically reflecting upon editorial essays concerning the topic over time (Donnelly 2004; Malcolm 2018). The focus is on multiple issues germane to the debate. Firstly, I analyze what Malcolm (2018) terms as the apparent “threats and opportunities” confronting the sociology of sport, connecting this theme to publication strategies and politics within the field. Secondly, I delve into the hegemonic tendency of Anglophone reviewers, as identified by Evans and Thiel (2019) in an editorial. These two issues are interrelated, yet also discussed independently. The primary aim of this paper is to create a critical platform for debate regarding the significance of inclusivity in a scientific research area, and to emphasize the importance of contextualizing scientific work. I express concern over the potential loss of acceptance of cultural aspects and national issues, should language and cultural norms be superseded by management strategies in the metricization of academic publication (Evans and Thiel 2019). The paper will present case studies derived from research within the sociology of sport in two countries, Norway and Denmark.


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LONE FRIIS THING is a professor and the department head of Sports and Social Sciences at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NIH). Her research centers on health promotion and preventive measures related to sports. This involves working with various aspects of lifestyle (particularly in the elderly) and devising innovative cultural strategies for promoting health in Danish secondary schools (targeting the youth). Her research interests have a specific focus on the culture of physical movement, the intersection of body & gender, and the role of emotions. These interests have been influenced by her exploration of figurational sociology (Elias) and interaction theory (Goffman). Lone Friis Thing has held significant positions on the board of IDAN in Denmark and NIH in Oslo (from 2017 to 2019). Additionally, she has contributed to international journals such as EJSS (European Journal of Sport Science) and IRSS (International Review for the Sociology of Sport).


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