Call for Papers: 2018 ISA World Congress


‘Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities’

Toronto 15-21 July 2018

Call for Papers


As Research Committee 27 of the International Sociological Association (ISA) we provide members another opportunity to present research at the World Congress of Sociology, to be held in Toronto from 15-21 July 2018. This conference is in addition to the 2018 ISSA Congress that will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland in June 2018.


The ISA Congress title is the highly relevant ‘Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities’ and RC 27 Sessions direct attention to these themes. We encourage all participants to take up RC27 membership to benefit from priority in abstract selection, as well as networking opportunities through the International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA) eBulletin and annual conferences. There will be 11 sessions, including a business meeting of RC 27 (see below) and we invite abstract submissions via the ISA World Congress website.


Abstract submissions will be open from April 25 to September 30, 2017 (24:00 GMT). Further details are available here. Anyone interested in presenting a paper should submit an abstract on-line through a centralized ISA 2018 website which will be operational from April 25 through September 30, 2017, (24:00 GMT).


Please follow the below listed steps:

  1. Select session


List of sessions will be available on 25 April 2017 in the relevant Research Committee, Working Group and Thematic Group section.
All RC 27 sessions will be in English.


  1. Submit abstract: April 25 till September 30, 2017, 24:00 GMT



Participants must submit abstracts on-line from April 25, 11:00 GMT through September 30, 2017, 24:00 GMT

  • The abstract text cannot contain more than 300 words and must be submitted in English.
  • Only abstracts submitted on-line will be considered in the selection process.
  • The author is required to choose the RC/WG/TG session in which s/he wishes the abstract to be included.
  • One cannot submit more than two abstracts.
  • One cannot submit the same abstract to two different sessions.
  • It is the author’s responsibility to submit a correct abstract; any errors in spelling, grammar, or scientific fact will be reproduced as typed by the author.
  • All changes/updates should be done via on-line system by September 30, 2017 24:00 GMT.
  • Each abstract received on-line will be assigned an identification number.
  • Notification: November 30, 2017
  • Submitters will be informed by November 30, 2017 whether their papers have been accepted for presentation.
  • A final presentation designation (oral presentation, distributed paper, poster, or round table presentation) will be indicated.


RC27 Program Coordinator for ISA 2018



Title                                                                                                                                                        Session Organizer


Health & Violence in Sport                                                                                                     Elizabeth Pike

The relationship between sport and health is complex and paradoxical.  Sport is associated with many direct and indirect health benefits to individuals, communities, and societies. Yet, it is also associated with powerful ideological values that lead to health-risking behaviour, including violent behaviour on and off the field of play.  This session will explore issues such as violence between players, sexual harassment and abuse, the use of performance-enhancing practices, the so-called “holy trinity” of sport, hegemonic masculinity and alcohol, and the role of medical professionals in sport.  Furthermore, papers are invited considering the role of sport development, and sport for development and peace, practitioners, in addressing issues of health and violence in sports.


Sport, Politics & Policy                                                                                                              Mike Sam

Sport is integrated across all sectors of society (public, private and voluntary) and it is often characterised by a messy co-mingling of the three. Changes in policy (or the introduction of new policies) invariably entail an attempt to change the structure or balance of real power within/between organisations. Analysing the politics around these processes is worthy of attention because they not only reflect citizen demands – they shape expectations as well, giving issues like ‘obesity’, or ‘medal counts’ legitimacy in the public domain. This session welcomes papers having a focus on politics and policy as they relate to matters of the state (both local and federal), supra-national institutions and sport governing bodies.


Globalization & Sport                                                                                                                 Mike Sam

Modern sport is intricately linked to globalization. While globalization has enabled sport’s transformation into a transnational phenomenon, such changes have been founded on variable regional/local responses: passive, purposeful and resistant. This session has a broad thematic focus on social issues relating to sport and globalization, including aspects of power, violence and justice. It also welcomes papers from diverse theoretical backgrounds addressing transformations in the technologies, politics, cultures and social networks surrounding sport.  


Power & Justice in Sport                                                                                                          Mary McDonald

This session seeks papers that deal with the ways in which power and justice are exercised and/or resisted through sport. Possible topics include but are not limited to: theoretical discussions of sport, justice and/or power: policies that seek justice and fairness in sport; activisms, social movements and sport; discourses of race, gender, class and/or sexuality as remade and or challenged through sporting practices.


Media & Sport                                                                                                                                 Brent McDonald

The relationship between the mass media and sport has a long and rich history as a topic of sociological inquiry. However the rapid proliferation of new media, and the continued concentrated ownership of old media necessitates ongoing and novel research into the way the media and sport interact. This session welcomes papers that consider the media and sport in relation to a range of themes including: advertising and marketing; representations of gender, race, and national identity; political economy and ideology; and new media.


Sport, Bodies & Identity                                                                                                           Brent McDonald

This session welcomes papers that engage with research into sport, the body and identity. The body is a central vehicle from which to engage with the sociological significance of sport. As such research may examine the representation of bodies, or utilize the body as a methodological tool. Identity may be considered both individual and collective and draw on local, national, and transnational contexts. In particular papers that consider the variously contradictory, transformative, and reproductive ways sport intersects with identity are encouraged.


Sport, Justice & Development                                                                                             Cora Burnett

The role of sport for delivering in the field of international mainstream development, or as part of the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) movement, is a contentious issue. Since the UN declaration in 2003 about using sport as a vehicle for delivering on Sustainable Development Goals, main stakeholders developed policies, structures and partnerships to become part of this social movement. Major tensions emerged between Global North and Global South partnerships linked to unequal power relations and the domination of neo-Colonial ideology. Delivering sport (for) development programmes with the focus on individual agency is mostly underpinned by a liberalist framework and fails to address discriminatory systems and structural constraints. Most practices adhere to a human justice framework, but the interrogation of policies and strategies from sport powerhouses such as the IOC and FIFA reveals a top-down, pre-determined development agenda with relatively little room for indigenous participation and practice. This session invites papers that address the complexity of stakeholder agency in this crowded policy space, and asks for reflections on unequal power relations and multiple practices that explore discriminatory practices and contextual inequalities. Papers on theoretical underpinnings and theories of change, policy frameworks and practices that could advance the body of knowledge are also welcome.


Sport, Spectacle & Mega-Events                                                                                         John Horne
Sports mega-events and global sport culture are structurally and experientially central to capitalist (post-) modernity. This session seeks to both assess this statement and explore other questions, including: What are the economic, political and social risks and benefits of hosting sports mega-events? What implications, if any, can be drawn from analyses of recent and forthcoming spectacular sports mega-events in the East and Global South for a broader understanding of changing relations of economic and political power on a global scale? To what extent do mega-events intervene in systems of governance at the local, national and international levels? What do mega-events tell us about the significance or the effectiveness of various forms of popular resistance to global power networks? What do mega-events tell us about the role of communications media in the early twenty first century political economy of global culture?


Sport & Social Inequalities                                                                                                      Christine Dallaire

Sport can both reproduce and reinforce social inequalities and at the same time serve as a site of resistance and social change, albeit to unequal effects. This session invites papers that address either of these roles or the complex and complicated interaction of inclusion and exclusion through empirical and/or theoretical analysis of social relations in sport bounded by gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, social class, nationality, age and so on. We encourage scholars to reflect on the relationship between sport and social inequalities by exploring inequalities of condition, opportunity and capability. Papers can, furthermore, focus on the effects of inequalities and resistance on sports participants and organizations or instead examine sport’s ambiguous impact on broader social change.


Contemporary Issues in Sociology of Sport                                                                   John Horne

This session invites scholars to explore new and emerging topics of research in the sociology of sport. Papers can also revisit or propose to update our sociological thinking about older questions and themes about sport through innovative theoretical analysis or new and creative empirical evidence. In short, what are current issues in sport and how can we enhance our understanding of these issues through sociological analysis?


RC 27 Business Meeting                                                                                                            Christine Dallaire

Meeting of RC27 members to discuss the relationship between the International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA) and RC 27 and invite feedback.


Professor John Horne

ISSA Vice President (ISA and Treasurer)

RC27 Program Coordinator for ISA 2018