Assessing the sociology of sport: On the mediasport interpellation and commodity narratives
Article written by Lawrence A Wenner, Loyola Marymount University, USA
“On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, Lawrence A Wenner, Editor-in-Chief of the IRSS and a key foundational scholar of media and sport, considers how the study of media in the sociology of sport is “unavoidable” as media is central to how sport is framed, understood, enacted, and transacted. The early reluctance to study mediated sport is traced to disciplinary challenges in both physical education and communication studies. These challenges were overcome by the rise of British cultural studies and concerns over agency in the study of “money and power” and “framing and identities” as central to inquiry. Key challenges for the study of media and sport are fueled by the need to go beyond textual analysis, to recognize the “dirtiness” of sport narratives, and interrogate the dynamic of inherently commodified logics. Posing the lasting power of the “mediasport interpellation” as a form of address anchored in gender, fan, and consumer identities, it is argued that new media will encounter embedded cultural logics about sport as obstacles to change.”
The article was published on International Review for the Sociology of Sport, June-August 2015, vol. 50, no. 4-5, p. 628-633.