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Exploring the adequacy and validity of 'sport': reflections on a contested and open concept

Susan Lagaert (UGent) and Henk Roose (UGent)
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A social space approach to analyze patterns of cultural consumption in Flanders (BOF)
Abstract
In this paper we explore whether and how ‘sport’ can be an adequate and valid sociological concept considering the multitude of contested meanings and definitions attached to ‘sport’ by different stakeholders in the sports field. Firstly, we argue that essentialist definitions of ‘sport’ too often one-sidedly focus on physical exertion and neglect the socially distinguishing nature of sportive practices as part of a lifestyle. Secondly, survey questions reflect this physical definition of ‘sport’ and assume that ‘sport’ has an obviously similar meaning to respondents. However, reflecting the struggle to define ‘sport’ in the sports field, people with different socio-demographic backgrounds differ in their understanding of the concept. Because current measurement of ‘sport’ does not adequately deal with the open and contested nature of the concept, suggestions on how to collect survey data on sport participation are presented.
Keywords
questionnaire design, BODY, measurement validity, definition of sport, cultural participation research, survey research, MASCULINITY

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Lagaert, Susan, and Henk Roose. 2016. “Exploring the Adequacy and Validity of ‘Sport’: Reflections on a Contested and Open Concept.” Ed. Lawrence A Wenner. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 51 (4): 485–498.
APA
Lagaert, S., & Roose, H. (2016). Exploring the adequacy and validity of “sport”: reflections on a contested and open concept. (L. A. Wenner, Ed.)INTERNATIONAL REVIEW FOR THE SOCIOLOGY OF SPORT, 51(4), 485–498.
Vancouver
1.
Lagaert S, Roose H. Exploring the adequacy and validity of “sport”: reflections on a contested and open concept. Wenner LA, editor. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW FOR THE SOCIOLOGY OF SPORT. Sage; 2016;51(4):485–98.
MLA
Lagaert, Susan, and Henk Roose. “Exploring the Adequacy and Validity of ‘Sport’: Reflections on a Contested and Open Concept.” Ed. Lawrence A Wenner. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW FOR THE SOCIOLOGY OF SPORT 51.4 (2016): 485–498. Print.
@article{4360085,
  abstract     = {In this paper we explore whether and how {\textquoteleft}sport{\textquoteright} can be an adequate and valid sociological concept considering the multitude of contested meanings and definitions attached to {\textquoteleft}sport{\textquoteright} by different stakeholders in the sports field. Firstly, we argue that essentialist definitions of {\textquoteleft}sport{\textquoteright} too often one-sidedly focus on physical exertion and neglect the socially distinguishing nature of sportive practices as part of a lifestyle. Secondly, survey questions reflect this physical definition of {\textquoteleft}sport{\textquoteright} and assume that {\textquoteleft}sport{\textquoteright} has an obviously similar meaning to respondents. However, reflecting the struggle to define {\textquoteleft}sport{\textquoteright} in the sports field, people with different socio-demographic backgrounds differ in their understanding of the concept. Because current measurement of {\textquoteleft}sport{\textquoteright} does not adequately deal with the open and contested nature of the concept, suggestions on how to collect survey data on sport participation are presented.},
  author       = {Lagaert, Susan and Roose, Henk},
  editor       = {Wenner, Lawrence A},
  issn         = {1012-6902},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL REVIEW FOR THE SOCIOLOGY OF SPORT},
  keyword      = {questionnaire design,BODY,measurement validity,definition of sport,cultural participation research,survey research,MASCULINITY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {485--498},
  publisher    = {Sage},
  title        = {Exploring the adequacy and validity of 'sport': reflections on a contested and open concept},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1012690214529295},
  volume       = {51},
  year         = {2016},
}

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