Assessing the sociology of sport: On sport and the city
Article written by Kimberly S Schimmel, Kent State University, USA
“On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, Kimberly Schimmel, one of the leading scholars on sport, urban policy and the political economy of development reviews the trajectory of research into the relationship between cities and sport. Three principal themes are identified: city-building – politics and profits; city-life – culture and community; and city-space – semblance and spectacle. The current challenges are then outlined: for example, the emergence of new relationships between sport cultures and transforming urban developments; how urban spaces are increasingly viewed as terrain on which military tactics and weaponry are deemed necessary to protect capital investments, control crowds and prevent and respond to terrorist attacks; and the experiences of those who live and work in, and visit, urban areas. Future directions of the sociology of sport with regard to sport and the city are considered, with the reminder that sociologists of sport across the globe view with informed scepticism any notion that sports can act as a solution to general urban problems: the city is not a unitary entity that benefits uniformly from sport-related policy, as recent events in Brazil have amply illustrated.”
The article was published on International Review for the Sociology of Sport, June-August 2015, vol. 50, no. 4-5, p.591-595.