Sport, Health and Drugs: A Critical Sociological Perspective

Sport, Health and Drugs: A Critical Sociological Perspective

Sport, Health and Drugs: A Critical Sociological Perspective

Sport, Health and Drugs: A Critical Sociological Perspective

Synopsis

Sport may teach people how to win gracefully, but it may also teach them how to win at any cost, even if this involves violence or cheating. Here, a sociological perspective is brought to bear on the topic of how sport operates.

Excerpt

The central themes of this book revolve around what have for many years been my two central areas of interest within sociology: the sociology of health and the sociology of sport. At an earlier stage of my career, I worked for several years in the Medical School at Leicester University, and later taught a course in the sociology of health within the Sociology Department at Leicester. My sociological perspective on health has benefited from many fruitful discussions over the years with David Field, Nick Jewson and Sydney Holloway and, more recently, Sue Dopson, to all of whom I express my thanks.

My interest in the sociology of sport began to develop from the late 1980s, when Eric Dunning and Patrick Murphy invited me to join them in teaching an MA programme in the sociology of sport. Since then, we have worked increasingly closely together; I have learnt a great deal from them, have argued with and on occasions been infuriated by one or other of them, but have always greatly valued their advice and support and, above all, their friendship. It was they, in the first instance, who encouraged me to write a book which examined aspects of sport from the perspective of the sociology of health.

I have also benefited from the support and advice of all my other colleagues in the Centre for Research into Sport and Society with whom I have been privileged to work since the Centre was formed in 1992. I have had many helpful discussions with Ken Sheard, whose excellent work on boxing also touches upon many health-related issues, and who kindly read and commented on parts of the manuscript. Dominic Malcolm, who also has an interest in doping in sport, has been kind enough to share his thoughts with me, and has read and commented on most of the chapters in the second part of the book. Sharon Colwell also read and commented help-fully on some of the chapters on doping. Martin Roderick has done sterling work interviewing current and ex-professional footballers for the research reported in Chapter 4. Margaret Milsom has provided, as always, superbly efficient administrative support, while Lisa Heggs provided invaluable help in relation to the presentation and organisation of the typescript in the form required by the publisher. To all of them I offer my warmest thanks,

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