Blog Archives

Videocasts from the Gender and Sport seminar in May

Participation in sport is commonly conceptualised as a public good (for health, for the economy, for national identity), especially in the light of the upcoming London 2012 Olympics. but how is sport gendered? How are gender inequalities challenged and / or reinforced in contemporary mainstream and non-mainstream sporting practice?

To see video recordings of the talks by Belinda Wheaton, Louise Mansfield and Karen Throsby, please click on the titles. When you reach the opening page, select “Default Light” and launch the Echo Player (which shows the speaker, plus an inset window showing the slides). Please get in touch if you have difficulty viewing the videos. You can also view the Powerpoint slides for Tess Kay’s presentation.

Dr Louise Mansfield, Brunel University

Walking out: sport, physical activity and health legacies for girls and women post “London 2012”

Professor Tess Kay, Brunel University

Go girl! Critiquing the use of sport for female empowerment in international development

Dr Belinda Wheaton, Brighton University

Lifestyle sports, gendered bodies and the politics of identity

Dr Karen Throsby, University of Warwick

“Man up”: marathon swimming and the gendered body

Channel Swimming

Using (auto-)ethnographic methods, Karen Throsby is researching English Channel swimming and the process of making an extreme sporting body. As part of the research, she swam the Channel in September 2010, and you can see a video of her swim here. Members of the swimming community use short films like these to memorialise their swims and they also constitute a valued resource for those in training  – as information, as warnings, and as inspiration during the arduous training process. Having drawn extensively on other people’s films, both as a research and a swimmer, Karen made the film both to document her own swim (for herself and others), and to enable her to think through direct experience about how Channel swimming stories can be told. She has also documented the training, the swim itself and its aftermath on her “blog” ( There is a link to Karen’s channel swimming website here.

Sociology of Sport Seminar at Sociology@Warwick

Last summer Sociology@Warwick hosted the website Sociological Imagination‘s first ever seminar. The topic was the Sociology of Sport and speakers included current Sociology@Warwick faculty, current PhD students and ex-PhD students.

The first speaker was Dr Karen Throsby, who we interviewed last year,  talking about her research on channel swimming.

Professor Wyn Grant, who we also interviewed on this topic some time ago, talks about the political economy of football. If you find this interesting you should definitely check out Wyn’s site Football Economy.

In this podcast from the SI Sociology of Sport seminar, PhD researcher Deborah Butler talks about her research on the Horse Racingindustry.

And in the final talk from the seminarDr Sam Farooq discusses religious masculinities in sport based on a fascinating ethnographic study she conducted.

Swimming the Channel

As part of her research into channel swimmers, Dr Karen Throsby recently swam the English channel herself. As Karen put it on her research Blog, ““I will just say that it was an extraordinary, brutal, intoxicating, frustrating, exciting, painful, exhilarating, exhausting day that I will never forget.”

In this podcast she talks about the experience itself as well as the wider research project which this auto-ethnography was part of.

London 2012 – Investing in our future? Social Sciences and the Olympic Games

BSA Social Sciences and the Olympic Games:

Beyond the Leisure Dome


Monday 27th February 2012 09:45 – 16:30

British Library Conference Centre, London


Organised by the BSA Sociology of Sport and the BSA Leisure and Recreation Study Group, we are pleased to announce the draft conference programme is now available at.   Alternatively please see below a brief summary of the draft programme:


09:45 – 10:15 Registration   (First Floor Conference Centre)

10:15 – 10:30 Welcome and Introduction

10:30 – 11:45 Session 1: The Olympics, Space and the City

11:45 – 12:00 Refreshment Break

12:00 – 13:15 Session 2: International and Translational Development

13:15 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:15 Session 3: Politics and Security

15:15 – 15:30 Refreshment Break

15:30 – 16:30 Roundtable: The Olympic Games and Civil Society

16:00 – 16:40 Wrap Up and Conference Close


Register online now at:



Registration:  BSA members £25, Non-members £35, Concessionary Member £20, Non-member Student / Unwaged £30. Fee includes buffet lunch and refreshments. For further information email

SI Seminar announcement: Sociology of Sport at Warwick University, 20 June


20 June · 16:00 – 18:00


R1.13, Ramphal Building, University of Warwick

As part of the Sociology of Sport Week on Sociological Imagination, we have organized our first ever seminar! Taking place the day after sports week finishes (Monday 20th), it will involve a series of 20-30 minute talks from a diverse range of speakers who have done research into different aspects of various sports. This will be followed by an open discussion about sport and contemporary society.
Don’t worry if you can’t make it! We will hopefully record the event and post it online on SI, and we will also be live-tweeting from it (@soc_imagination). If you have any questions you would like us to ask, then please get in touch via twitter.


Channel Swimming – Dr Karen Throsby, University of Warwick
Football – Prof Wyn Grant, University of Warwick
Horse Racing – Deborah Butler, University of Warwick
Football – Dr Sam Farooq, University of Gloucestershire

(click on the image to view full-sized poster)

SI Seminar #1: Sociology of Sport, 20 June 2011

SI Seminar #1: Sociology of Sport, 20 June 2011

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