Battleground: Sports
by Michael Atkinson
December 2008, 600pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34024-6
$191, £142, 160€, A273
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08787-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Engaging and accessible to a wide variety of readers, this fascinating reference illustrate how sports controversies reflect the historically enduring and changing nature of our broader cultures, and the social battles we engage on a day-to-day basis surrounding the struggles for equality, debates about social violence, the ethics of competition, the politics of civic life, the creation of global communities, and the State’s role in protecting citizens.

Mega-events like the Olympics, the World Cup of soccer, the World Series of baseball, cycling’s Tour de France, and the Super Bowl draw our attention to the deep cultural significance of sport and its role in fostering social bonds. Yet when it comes to sport, there is no shortage of debate: stereotypes regarding sexuality, race, gender, and children have been hotly contested by critics for over 40 years. Even today, sport is one of the very few socially accepted sites of violence, intense competition and controlled forms of social disorder. Battleground: Sports presents the 100 most contentious public and private controversies of the sports world. Highlighted throughout are debates surrounding ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and social identity, sports fan behavior, as well as the role of governments and corporations.

Engaging and accessible to a wide variety of readers, this fascinating reference illustrates how sports controversies reflect the historically enduring and changing nature of our broader cultures, and the social battles we engage on a day-to-day basis surrounding the struggles for equality, debates about social violence, the ethics of competition, the politics of civic life, the creation of global communities, and the State’s role in protecting citizens. Entries contain an array of thoughtful perspectives on historic and current controversies, and allow readers to formulate their own conclusions.

Enhanced with a timeline, a thorough guide of print and electronic resources for high school and undergraduate student research, this one-stop reference goes beyond the newspaper headlines to provide readers with a guide map for understanding what sport controversies teach us about our culture and ourselves.

Reviews

"BOTTOM LINE: Accessible, engaging, and logically organized for a wide variety of readers, this work will surely provide students, teachers, and librarians with a solid foundation for understanding sports issues and how sports controversies are like mirrors that reflect the historically enduring and changing nature of our broader culture."—Library Journal, February 15, 2009

"If one is interested in knowing what skateboarding means, then this book is a good place to start. . . . The 86 entries, such as Animal blood sports, Parent misconduct, Steroid use by athletes, and Terrorism and the Olympics, provide some good historical background and outline what battles over the subject tell us about ourselves and our cultures. . . . These volumes should be considered with other works that help high-school students through lower-level undergraduates begin their research on topics of general interest in world (although mostly North American) culture. Libraries purchasing multiple titles in the Battleground series may want to consider shelving all titles together to emphasize the common theme of controversies related to the areas covered in each title."—Booklist, July 1, 2009

"Obviously, attempting comprehensive coverage of contentious sports issues in a work of this size would be near impossible, but Atkinson has succeeded in bringing together a diverse range of topics that demonstrates the scope of the subject."—Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2009
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