All our research is curated and peer-reviewed giving you access to an unmatched library of information all in one place.

We Cannot Stand Idly By: A Necessary Call for a Public Sociology of Sport

The aim of what follows is to participate in an ongoing conversation that has taken place within the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), as well as in sociology and the academy writ large, regarding public engagement and what our role is or should be as critical scholars of sports and physical cultures. In this article, I will assert we have a moral imperative to “do” public sociology. As such, I hope to inspire the field by reinvigorating calls for a public sociology of sport. To that end, I begin by offering context for why now is the time for a public sociology of sport, particularly for scholars working in the United States. I wish for us to consider how a given historical moment and our locations within various institutions and structures produces the conditions for the possibility and potential for a public sociology, one informed by social justice concerns and rooted in social activism. Next, I discuss what is public sociology and why it matters. I raise several epistemological considerations that public sociologists of sport and physical cultures should consider when engaging with publics and translating research, particularly questions regarding whose knowledge counts and what ways of knowing lend itself to public sociology. Finally, I will propose a rationale for why and how we should engage in a public sociology of sport, and briefly discuss several impacts we’ve already seen for those engaged in a public sociology of sport.