Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CFP: Special Issue on The Political Economy of Amateur Athletics

Call for Papers: Special Issue on The Political Economy of Amateur Athletics 

Special Issue Guest Editors:
Joshua I. Newman
Florida State University

Kyle S. Bunds
North Carolina State University

Concerned by the rise of professionalism in sport, and in an attempt to protect the sanctity of amateurism, the famous author and early bicycling aficionado G. Lacy Hillier proclaimed in 1892, “Sport is amusement solely…The essence of sport is relaxation…The sportsman (sic), then, is the man who has an amusement which may cost him something, but which must not bring him in anything, for an amusement which brings him in anything is not a sport but a business” (as cited in Allison, 2001, p. vii). In the historical present, however, it has become quite clear that sport is now a deeply privatized and commercialized feature of most societies. Considering the widespread development of both mass participant and mass spectator sport over the course of the last 150 years, historians, sociologists, economists, legal scholars, and behavioral scientists have in recent decades dedicated considerable effort to the study of how market forces and logics have infiltrated, and in some ways been remediated by, the function of amateurism within sport.

This coupling of sport and business has impacted the structure of amateur sport organizations as well as the ethic of amateurism more generally. Issues such as a) the professionalization of the Olympic Games, b) the rights of intercollegiate student-athletes to gain remuneration through their economically-productive sporting practices, and c) the hyper-commodification of youth sports feature largely in many a nations’ public discourse. It has been argued that amateurism serves a double function: on the supply side, amateurism produces a system of governance that suppresses wage labor (in relation to market value) and exacerbates income inequality (allowing those with capital to produce incomes at rates that exceed those producing income through labor); and on the demand side, the structure of amateur sport allows for the uneven allocation of public resources dedicated to fostering community development and health through sport and physical activity.

Given the current environment, there is a need for scholarly research and discussion on the political economy of amateur sport in the contemporary (global) market society. In this special issue on the political economy of amateur athletics, we welcome submissions focused on the following topics:
Intercollegiate Athletics at all levels

  • Adult Amateur Sport and Recreation 
  • The blurring lines between Amateur and Semi-Professional Sport 
  • Amateurism and the Olympic Games 
  • The Commercialization/Marketization of Youth Sport 
  • The political economy of the contemporary sporting body 
  • The market politics of gender, race, sexuality, or (dis)ability
We invite a wide range of articles, essays, and creative works that will embrace and carry your work and/or the conference experience into the journal; scholars, researchers, and practitioners across disciplines and drawing upon a wide range of methods are encouraged to submit.
If you have an interest in pursuing a manuscript for submission, please send an initial proposal (including a working title and a 150-200 word abstract) through e-mail to both Dr. Joshua Newman ( and the JAS office ( by April 15th, 2015. The final manuscript needs to be submitted for review no later than October 1st, 2015.

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