Sport as a way of reinforcing science

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Sport as a way of reinforcing science

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Publication Other
Title Sport as a way of reinforcing science
Author(s) Jonasson, Kalle
Date 2012
English abstract
Sport scholars publish mainly in sport journals, hence sport doesn’t seem to make it to the fine salons of academia. Hasn’t sport really got anything to contribute with to the wider field of social studies? Sport scholars’ oeuvres and effort of applying perspectives and methodologies from their mother disciplines(sociology, history, geography, etc.) doesn’t seem to find impetus to shuttle back and inform the latters. Aren’t the general theories of social science enough reworked, and revolutionized within the social science of sport? Or, is it the connotations of pastime that holds sport back from affecting wider academic attention? What this paper aims to do is to offer one alternative to the suggested problems of sport study’s hardships with going all the way, that is: applying general sociological theories to sport, and, from the internal logic of the same, argue why it could variegate the view of science in general. The theory applied is Bruno Latour’s (1993) notion of the moderns and their ’constitution’, according to which we in modernity have worked hard to purify the poles of nature and society. Science, foremost the ”natural” variety, has been pivotal in this process. In the paper it is argued that Latour’s theories aid to frame a picture of sport as, to a high degree, symmetrical with science. His view of scientific practice is that our definite statements of nature is produced in the laboratory. For scientific ”truths” to be legitimate, intervention of the human (f)actor must be thouroughly assessed. Scientific ”truths” ”produced” thus are certain statements of nonhuman properties. However, in sport this is reversed. The outcomes of sport must conversely be purified of its nonhuman interference to be legitimate. A world record could not be assisted by nonhuman actors such as the wind, illegal substances or technological assets. Sport, in a much surer way than any other activity, such as social science, produces legitimate, timeless, and universal statements of what humans are. Thus, it is argued, sport relates to the ’work of purification’ of the ’modern constitution’. Insofar as legitimate outcomes of the laboratory ought to be cherished, sport serves as a vanguard of the ’work of purification’ on the human side of the aisle. Despite its aura as pastime, sport, it is argued, has (had) a far more important function, and/or role to play in the our societies than has hitherto been acknowledged.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) sport
Bruno Latour
Humanities/Social Sciences
Note CPS, The Social Science of Sport:Quality, Position, and Relevance. Malmö University, April 19-21, 2012.
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