This is a succinct and comprehensive account of the contemporary sociology of sport. It starts by tracing the key ‘moments’ in the transition from pre-modern to modern sport, giving detailed accounts of the athletic competition in the ancient games at Olympia; the genesis of modern track-and-field athletics in nineteenth-century England; and the reconstruction by de Coubertin and unfolding of the Olympic movement through the twentieth century.
The second section analyses features of sport in detail:
- The links between exercise, sport and health, including a look at growing rates of obesity and of the role of drug use in society and sport
- The hyper-commodification of football in the 1990s
- Representations of sport in the media
- Sports iconography, with sociological portraits of Muhammad Ali and David Beckham
- The re-emergence of violence in sport
This is key reading for students and researchers in sociology of sport and leisure, sport science and health.