Books about sports, even those written by scholars, are frequently little more than hagiography. They extol the virtue of athletics for participant and spectator alike. Of greater rarity are those that look critically at the political, social, economic, and psychological underpinnings of contemporary sports. Violence in sports is among the relatively neglected issues of serious study. Sports Violence is perhaps the first collection of scholarly theory and research to examine in detail aggression within and surrounding sports. As such, it seeks to present the broadest possible range of interpretations and perspectives. The book is, therefore, both interdisciplinary and international in scope. Two chapters, by Guttmann and Vamplew, are concerned with historical analyses of sports violence. Definitions and perspectives on aggression in general, and sports-related aggression in particular, are the topics of Chapters 4 through 7 by Smith, Bredemeier, Mark, Bryant, and Lehman, and Mummendey and Mummendey. Here, a wide variety of social and psychological theories are brought to bear on the conceptualization of aggression on the playing field and in the stands. Dunning and Liischen, both sociologists of sport, examine the origins, structure, and functions of violence, of sports, and of their interconnections. Psychological interpreta tions and research are presented in chapters by Russell and Keefer, Goldstein, and Kasiarz, while Bryant and Zillmann examine the portrayal and effects of aggression in televised sports.
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