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Defining Sport

Conceptions and Borderlines

Edited by Shawn E. Klein - Contributions by Shawn E. Klein; Chad Carlson; Francisco Javier López Frías; Kevin Schieman; Heather L. Reid; John McClelland; Keith Strudler; Pam R. Sailors; Sarah Teetzel; Charlene Weaving; Chrysostomos Giannoulakis; Lindsay Pursglove; Brian Glenney; Teresa González Aja; Joan Grassbaugh Forry; Brody J. Ruihley; Andrew Billings; Coral Rae and Joey Gawrysiak

Defining Sport: Conceptions and Borderlines is not about the variations of usage of the term “sport.” It is about the concept, the range of activities in the world that we unite into one idea—sport. It is through the project of defining sport that we can come to understand these activities better, how they are similar or different, and how they relate to other human endeavors.

This definitional inquiry, and the deeper appreciation and apprehension of sport that follows, is the core of this volume. Part I examines several of the standard and influential approaches to defining sport. Part II uses these approaches to examine various challenging borderline cases. These chapters examine the interplay of the borderline cases with the definition and provide a more thorough and clearer understanding of both the definition and the given cases.

This work is not meant to be the definitive or exhaustive account of sport. It is meant to inspire further thought and debate on just what sport is; how it relates to other activities and human endeavors; and what we can learn about ourselves through the study of sport. This book will be of interest to scholars in philosophy of sport, history, communications, sociology, psychology, sports management, cultural studies, and physical education.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 278Size: 6 1/4 x 9 3/8
978-1-4985-1157-5 • Hardback • December 2016 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-4985-1158-2 • eBook • December 2016 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
Shawn E. Klein is a philosophy instructor at Arizona State University.
1. Introduction by Shawn E. Klein

Part 1: Conceptions of Sport

2. A Three-Pointer: Revisiting Three Crucial Issues in the “Tricky Triad” of Play, Games, and Sport by Chad Carlson
3. Broad Internalism and Interpretation: A Plurality of Interpretivist Approaches by Francisco Javier López Frías
4. Hopscotch Dreams: Coming to Terms with the Cultural Significance of Sport by Kevin Schieman
5. Defining Olympic Sport by Heather L. Reid
6. Early Modern Athletic Contests: Sport or Not Sport? by John McClelland
7. The Impact of Mass Media on the Definition of Sport by Keith Strudler

Part 2: Borderline Cases

8. Borderline Cases: CrossFit, Tough Mudder, and Spartan Race by Pam R. Sailors, Sarah Teetzel, and Charlene Weaving
9. Evolution of the Action Sports Setting by Chrysostomos Giannoulakis and Lindsay Pursglove
10. Skateboarding, Sport, and Spontaneity: Towards a Subversive Definition of Sport by Brian Glenney
11. Bullfighting: The Mirror and Reflection of Spanish Society by Teresa González Aja
12. Why Some Animal Sports are Not Sports by Joan Grassbaugh Forry
13. The Mainstreaming of Fantasy Sport: Redefining Sport by Brody J. Ruihley, Andrew Billings, and Coral Rae
14. E-sport: Video Games as Sport by Joey Gawrysiak
The book is meant to reach a wide range of readers, including scholars in philosophy of sport, history, communication, sociology, psychology, sport management, cultural studies and physical education. In my opinion, it has great potential to be a standard tome for many of these groups of readers. If you are looking for a book to give you a short but full introduction to theories of what sport as a concept is, and empirical contributions based on these theoretic approaches, this is the book for you.

Defining Sport is not about the many ways the term ‘sport’ is used. Rather it is about sport as a concept, about the range of activities in the world that we unite under the idea of ‘sport’. The editor argues that it is through trying to define sport that we can come to understand these activities better and how they relate to other social spheres and human endeavors. The anthology is meant to inspire further thought and debate on just what sport is and what we can learn about ourselves through the study of sport.
Trek and Ice

This collection brings new vistas to the established project of conceptualizing sport. It explores paradigmatic cases but also ventures boldly into cases that test the contours of conceptual boundaries. By inviting us to keep furthering our thoughts and discussions of what sport is and how it functions, this collection helps us understand and appreciate more deeply a practice that has fascinated humans for centuries.
Cesar R. Torres, State University of New York

Defining Sport contributes greatly to the current Philosophy of Sport dialogue and, at the same time, explores well beyond it. It provides a strong approach to establishing a framework for discussing sport as well as an opportunity to explore much of the recent phenomena and changes in sport—the “borderline cases”—which have yet to be addressed. In short, it invites readers to view sport in a fresh, new light. This is an ideal text which will surely serve as a catalyst for deep reflection and thoughtful discourse.
Jack Bowen, Menlo School

Understanding sport requires understanding the concept of sport, what it means and what sorts of activities it refers to that distinguish it from other human endeavors. But getting a handle on the concept of sport, defining it, has proved to be a notoriously difficult enterprise. Klein’s finely edited volume, the first dedicated exclusively to this topic, is thus a welcome addition to the literature that spreads much needed light on this vexing subject while sparing us none of the complexity that bedevils it.
William J. Morgan, University of Southern California