CFP: Sport and the Politics of Inequality

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There is increasing global interest among mainstream sociologists (and other social scientists) in the widening income and wealth inequalities, and related social and health inequalities, which characterize many societies across the world. Interest in the significance of social inequalities related to divisions such as class, gender, age, race and ethnicity, place and location, sexuality, ability, religion, identity, and the intersections between these, is of course not new. Sociologists have long been interested in how they are experienced, how they shape life chances, and how they help make sense of social relationships. However, the scale and pace of growth in various forms of inequality in the last decade or so has rekindled interest in the corrosive effects of inequality on individuals, communities, and whole societies not only among academics, but also policy-makers, politicians, world leaders, the media, and those whose lives continue to be effected by them.

The politics of equality and inequality is also of interest among sociologists of sport, since it is well-established that sports are social phenomena that reflect, reveal, reproduce, and reinforce social inequalities, ideologies, and social exclusion. Sports are also potential sites of resistance to social inequality, of producing social change, of improving life chances, and of fostering social relationships which provide the basis for a more humane social world.

The papers in this Research Topic will bring together bodies of knowledge in sociology, sport, politics, social epidemiology, and policy analysis to examine the production and reproduction of social inequalities, and of the potential challenges to them, in and through the various relationships and processes which constitute sport. In particular, the papers will examine:

Theoretical, empirical, and methodological analyses of inequality in sport and the wider society.

  • Inequalities in contemporary social relations which exist in sport (e.g., gender, social class, sexuality, age and generations, ability, race and ethnicity, religion, place and location, identity, and status).
  • Sport as both a cause of, and solution for, social inequalities and other social problems.
  • Sports-based programmes as sites for promoting and compromising health and wellbeing, quality of social relationships, social capital, and trust.
  • The limitations and possibilities of using sport-plus and plus-sport programmes to address social inequalities.
  • The social, psychological, political, and economic costs of inequality and their consequences for sport.
  • Political and policy responses to sport, social inequalities, and inequities.


Keywords: health, inequality and inequity, intersectionality, sociology, sport


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.