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Sport, crime and deviance

Sport, crime and deviance

Sport is an important global social phenomenon for at least three reasons. First, it constitutes a huge industry. Second, for a growing number of people across the world, sport represents a key part of their identity, whether as a key part of their identity in terms of their chosen activity, body image or related behaviours such as gambling. Third, sport carries with it our taken-for-granted notions of fair play. It is an inherently rule-bound activity which risks losing all credibility if, for example, a competitor is known to have taken some kind of proscribed performance enhancement. Likewise, it is intrinsic to sport as a social activity that – unlike, say, drama - the outcome should not be predetermined: any notion of contrivance and sport loses its defining characteristic. Yet, largely due both to the globalisation and the televisualisation of sport, the possibilities and indeed attraction of such contrivance has escalated as the consumption of sport extends into the darkly seductive domains of sex, corruption, scandal and celebrity deviance. The ebook has been put together to introduce readers to current work on crime and deviance in the sporting world. The papers cover issues that seemed to be among the most pressing; they are not, generally speaking, intended to be pristinely original contributions to knowledge. Although written by social scientists and drawing on the sociological imagination, the essays offer a largely critical legalistic perspective on the issues addressed. They present sport as a social milieu in which ‘bad' things happen - not because of sport itself or even those that participate in it - but because it matters economically, politically and culturally. Discussions of deviance and criminality in sport have tended to be isolated and focused on specific issues and topics without a coherent set of underlying principles or ways of thinking about these topics in the round. As this remains an emergent field, it could be argued that this trend is further reflected in this collection with one consequence being that individual contributions might appear fractured and even at times contradictory. The editors hope that by presenting these issues and different strands of thought to a wider audience, they might stimulate further debate, critical engagement and maturity.


Amateurism, scientific control, and crime: historical fluctuations in anti-doping discourses in sport,Challenging popular representations of child trafficking in football,In plain sight - examining the harms of professional wrestling as state-corporate crime,Sexual violence and collegiate athletics: US federal law, adjudication and the media spotlight,Sport exceptionalism and the Court of Arbitration for Sport,Sport, crime and deviance,The problems and causes of match-fixing: are legal sports betting regimes to blame?

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